Noah H. Swayne

From Ohio History Central
Swayne, Noah Haynes.jpg
Noah Haynes Swayne, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Noah Swayne was an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court in nineteenth century America.

Noah Swayne was born on December 7, 1804, in Frederick County, Virginia. He briefly studied medicine before deciding to pursue a legal career. He studied law with an attorney in Fauquier County, Virginia, and passed the Virginia bar examination in 1823 when he was only nineteen years old.

Although Swayne lived in slave-holding Virginia, he opposed the institution of slavery. His abolitionist sentiments caused him to move to Ohio in 1824. Swayne established a law practice in Coshocton and was elected the prosecuting attorney of Coshocton County shortly after his arrival. In 1829, Swayne was elected to the Ohio legislature. He resigned when President Andrew Jackson appointed him to be the United States Attorney for Ohio in 1830. Swayne held this position for the next eleven years. In addition, he was elected to a second term in the Ohio legislature in 1836 and served on the Columbus City Council in 1834.

Following his service as U.S. Attorney, Swayne continued to practice law privately. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Swayne to be a justice on the United States Supreme Court. The United States Senate quickly approved his nomination. Swayne served on the Supreme Court until 1881, when he retired. He died on June 8, 1884.

See Also


  1. Dee, Christine, ed. Ohio's War: The Civil War in Documents. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2007.  
  2. Jordan, Philip D. Ohio Comes of Age: 1874-1899. Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1943.  
  3. McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1988.  
  4. Reid, Whitelaw. Ohio in the War: Her Statesmen, Generals and Soldiers. Cincinnati, OH: Clarke, 1895.
  5. Roseboom, Eugene H. The Civil War Era: 1850-1873. Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1944.  
  6. Weisenburger, Francis P. The Passing of the Frontier: 1825-1850. Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 1941.