Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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REED, John, mine-owner, born in Germany about 1760; died in Cabarrus county, North Carolina, about 1848. He came to this country as a Hessian soldier, and after the war of the Revolution settled on a farm in Cabarrus county, North Carolina But little is known of his history, except that he seems to have been grossly ignorant on many subjects regarding which he would naturally be presumed to be well informed. Thus he lived to be more than eighty years old before discovering that he was entitled to become a citizen of the United States. He was then naturalized at Concord, North Carolina Reed was the owner of the first gold-mine that was discovered in this country. In 1799 his son Conrad, while shooting fish with a bow and arrow in a small stream, called Meadow creek, near his father's house, found in the water a piece of glistening yellow metal, which he carried home. It was about the size of "a small smoothing-iron." His father did not recognize it, and, a silversmith at Concord proving equally ignorant of its value, it was for several years used as a convenient door-weight. Finally it was submitted to a jeweler at Fayetteville, North Carolina, who, by fluxing, produced from it a bar of gold from six to eight inches long. In 1803 a piece of gold weighing twenty-eight pounds was found in the same stream. Other pieces were afterward gathered ranging in weight from sixteen pounds down to the smallest particles. In 1831 quartz veins were discovered, and Reed died a wealthy man.
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