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Governor Deal accepts 'Appling Sword'

11:25 PM, Oct 15, 2012   |    comments
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(AP file)

ATLANTA -- It's been one hundred and seven years since the Appling sword hung in the Georgia governor's office but tonight it's back home in downtown Atlanta.

Where it's been the last century is the stuff of Keith Morrison and NBC Dateline.

Here is what we do know a collective of heritage groups raised 100 thousand dollars to bring the sword to Governor Deal.

The sword is almost 200 years old and was constructed in Philadelphia after being commissioned by the state legislature in 1816 to salute the pride of Columbia County Georgia.

Governor Deal said, " The contributions of Lt. Col. Appling were truly heroic."

In the War of 1812, May 1814, 27 year old Lt. Col.Daniel Appling was sent to upstate New York along the shore of Lake Ontario.

With 150 of his riflemen on boats with cables and cannons, an overwhelming American victory over the British at Big Sandy Creek.

"The unfortunate thing about the story of this sword is after being commissioned by the ga legislature is that he died before it was physically presented to him, said the Governor.

And the legislature refused to present the sword to Applying wife.

The sword remained in the governor's office and was sent to the Jamestown Exposition in 1907.

The sword did not return to Atlanta.

It was not seen again until a book published in 1988 had a picture of the artifact.

The sword remained in private collection for another few decades.

Now roll forward to 2010-,The director of the state archives saw the sword in an antiques magazine .

The collector gave Georgians until the end of this year to raise $100k for the sword.

An assortment of heritage groups in the state were able to successfully raise the funds necessary.And the heritage groups made history come alive raising the money.

Governor Deal says the sword will be kept in the museum in the capitol. He thinks it represents our history in ways large and small, "It has everything from James Oglethorpe to the engraving of Lt. Col Appling himself."

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