Colonel William Fleming's sword on display at Salem Museum

SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) - Monday night at the Salem Museum some folks got a good look at a rare and treasured artifact from Roanoke's earliest days.

They were treated to a talk from members of the Nancy Christian Fleming Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution about William Fleming and his friend General Andrew Lewis.

Then came the reveal.The packed room applauded when a flag was lifted from a table, showing guests the battle sword of Colonel William Fleming and his wife's needlework sampler stitch, both dating back to the 1700s.

Museum staff say the artifacts help bring Fleming's legacy to life.

"When I was growing up I heard the name William Flemming high school and I think, 'oh I wonder what that dude's from,'" said Alex Burke, Assistant Director of the Museum. "And once you can picture having the sword in your hands and you realize and you can read about the man himself... it just allows you to connect more with the community."

Both objects will be on loan to the Salem Museum

More information on William Fleming's life, provided by the Museum, is listed below:

"Born and educated as a doctor in Scotland, Fleming immigrated to Virginia in 1755 and became a noted physician and statesman. He served as a surgeon attached to George Washington’s Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War (1754—1763), and was later wounded leading the Botetourt County militia at the Battle of Point Pleasant in 1774. These injuries prevented him from serving in the military during the Revolutionary War. Instead, Fleming served in the Senate of Virginia and briefly as Virginia’s acting governor. His final public service was as a delegate to the 1788 convention which ratified the U.S. Constitution. Today, one of Roanoke City's two public high schools is named for William Fleming, while Salem has a middle school named after Andrew Lewis."