The Georgia General Assembly voted to present the sword to native son Lt. Col. Daniel Appling for his bravery during the War of 1812. He died before he could take ownership and it later became state property. The sword had been missing since 1907.
The sword was spotted by a former archivist while thumbing through Antiques magazine in a barbershop. The Georgia State Archives began negotiations, thinking the sword might legally belong to the state. But after consulting the state attorney general’s office, it was determined the owner had no obligation to return it.
The unnamed owner wanted $250,000, “and in these hard times for the state we knew we couldn’t ask the Legislature for the money.” The dealer has agreed to sell it for $100,000 and take a tax write-off for the rest.
A nonprofit group, the Friends of Georgia Archives and History, offered to help, and so far has raised more than $30,000. The friends group is asking for tax-deductible donations.
You can read more in an article by Bill Hendrick in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution web site at http://www.ajc.com/news/sword-relic-of-state-563877.html