Image of Swett, Leonard

Swett, Leonard

b. August 11, 1825, in Turner, Maine; d. June 8, 1889, in Chicago, Illinois. Swett was educated at Waterville University and read law in Portland, Maine. He served in the Mexican War, and after the war ended, he settled in Bloomington, Illinois. Swett was admitted to the bar in 1849 and practiced law and traveled on the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Swett was active in Whig party politics, and when the Missouri Compromise was repealed, he joined the Republican party. He was elected to the state legislature in 1858 on the Republican ticket. Swett actively campaigned for Lincoln during his 1860 bid for the presidency. During the Civil War, Swett spent most of his time in Washington where Lincoln employed Swett in the trial of government cases. In 1865, Swett moved to Chicago and formed a law partnership with Judge Van H. Higgins and Colonel David Quigg.
To the Biography of Illinois of the Nineteenth Century (Philadelphia: Galaxy Publishing Co., 1875), 481-82; Chicago Times (Illinois), 9 June 1889, 11; John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960); Mark E. Neely Jr., The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia (New York: McGraw Hill, 1982), 299-300; John Palmer, ed., Bench and Bar of The Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899), 1:562; Benjamin P. Thomas, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952). Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.