The following account of an extraordinary phenomenon that appeared to a number of people in the county of Rutherford, state of North Carolina, was made the 7th of August, 1806, in presence of David Dickle, Esq. of county and state aforesaid. Jesse Anderson, and the Rev George Newton, of the county of Buncombe, and Miss Betsey Newton of the state of Georgia, who unanimously agreed, with the relators, that Mr. Newton should communicate it to Mr. J. Gales, Editor of the Raleigh Register and State Gazette.
Patsy Reaves, a widow woman, who lives near the Apalachian mountains, declares, that on the 31st of July last about, 6 o’clock P. M. her daughter Elizabeth, about eight years old, was in the cotton-field, about: ten poles from the dwelling. house, which. stands by computation, six furlongs from the Chimney mountain, and that Elizabeth told her brother Morgan, aged eleven years that there was a man on the mountain. —Morgan was incredulous at first; but the little girl affirmed it, and she saw him rolling rocks or picking up sticks, adding that she saw a heap of people. Morgan then went to the place where she was, and calling out, said that he saw a thousand or ten thousand things flying in the air. On which Polly, daughter of Mrs. Reaves aged fourteen years, and a negro woman, ran to the children, and called to Mrs. Reaves to come and see what a sight yonder was: —Mrs Reaves says she went about three poles towards them, and, without any sensible alarm or fright, she turned towards the Chimney mountain, and discovered a very numerous crowd of beings resembling the human species; but could not discern, any particular members of the human body, nor distinction of sex: that they were every size, from the tallest men down to the least infants; that there were more of the small than of the full grown, that they were all clad with brilliant white raiment, but could not describe any form of their raiment; that they appeared to rise off the side of the mountain, south of said rock, and about as high; that a considerable part of the mountain’s top was visible above this shining host, that they moved in a northern direction, and collected about the Chimney rock. When all but a few had reached said rock, two seemed to rise together, and behind them about two feet a third rose. These three moved with great agility toward the crowd, and had the nearest resemblance to men of any before seen. While beholding these three, her eyes were attracted by three more rising nearly from the same place, and moving swiftly in the same order and direction. After these, several others rose and went toward the rock.
During this view, which all the spectators thought lasted upwards of an hour, she sent for Mr. Robert Siercy, who did not come at first; on a second message, sent about fifteen minutes after the first, Mr. Siercy came, and being new before us, he gives the following relation to the substance of which Mrs. Reaves agrees.
Mr. Siercy said, when he was coming, he expected to see nothing extraordinary, and when come, being asked if he saw those people on the mountain, he answered no; but on looking a second time, he saw more glittering white appearances of humankind than he had seen of men at any general review; that they were of all sizes from that of men to infants; that they moved in the Chimney rock; they were about the height of the Chimney rock and moved in a semicircular course, between him and the rock, and so passed along in a southern course between him and the mountain, to the place where Mrs. Reaves said they rose; and that two of a full size went before the general crowd about the space of twenty yards; and as they respectively came to this place, they vanished out of sight, leaving a solemn and pleasing impression on the mind, accompanied with a diminution of bodily strength.
Whether the above be accountable on philosophical principles, or whether it be a prelude to the descent of the Holy City, I leave to the impartially curious to judge.
—The Wonderful Magazine and Extraordinary Museum. Archibald Loudon, Ed. (Carlisle, A. Loudon, 1808)
Image: Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain (source)