Jack Swilling

Jack Swilling : Arizona's Most Lied about Pioneer

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John W. (Jack) Swilling, the founder of Phoenix, is also "the most lied about man" in the history of Arizona Territory. Time has not been kind to Jack's legacy. Most of what is known about him by modern Arizonans comes from legends, half-truths, and lies. On the other hand, he was no saint. His was a colorful presence from his first arrival as a gold seeker in 1858 to his death in 1878. In those two decades his list of accomplishments was long and varied. He was, among other things, a prospector and explorer, discoverer of the Hassayampa River, Indian fighter, mine owner, saloon keeper, Confederate Army officer, U.S. Army dispatch rider and scout, discoverer of gold in the central Arizona highlands (leading to the founding of Prescott, AZ), farmer and rancher, founder of the first modern era canal-building company in the Salt River Valley, a public servant (the Phoenix settlement's first postmaster and justice of the peace) and an ardent Democrat activist. Contrary to legend, Jack was also a loyal husband to his wife, Trinidad, and a doting parent to their nine children (including two adopted Apache Indian youngsters). He built them a home that for years was the largest residence in Phoenix. His reputation was fatally injured when he was wrongfully accused of stagecoach robbery and died in Yuma County Jail before he could have a trial. Although he was absolved of the crime after his death, that's not the way of legends. The exoneration is all but forgotten.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 119 pages
  • 149.86 x 223.52 x 12.7mm | 204.12g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1587369656
  • 9781587369650