SWIFT, Zephaniah

1759–1823

Biography

SWIFT, Zephaniah, a Representative from Connecticut; born in Wareham, Plymouth County, Mass., February 27, 1759; moved with his parents to Lebanon, New London County, Conn.; completed preparatory studies; was graduated from Yale College in 1778; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Windham, Conn.; member of the state house of representatives 1787-1793, serving as speaker in 1792; clerk of the house for four sessions; elected as Pro-Administration candidate to the Third Congress and reelected as a Federalist to the Fourth Congress (March 4, 1793-March 3, 1797); resumed the practice of law at Windham; also engaged in literary pursuits; secretary of the French mission in 1800; judge of the supreme court in 1801 and chief justice 1806-1819; member of the Hartford Convention in 1814; again a member of the state house of representatives 1820-1822; died in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, September 27, 1823; interment in Oakwood Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Connecticut Historical Society

Hartford, CT
Papers: 1782-1822. 17 items in various collections. Index in repository.

Connecticut State Library

Hartford, CT
Papers: 1794-1804. ca. 5 items in various collections. Includes letter written as a Congressman discussing politics. Index in repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Swift, Zephaniah. A digest of the law of evidence, in civil and criminal cases. And a treatise on bills of exchange, and promissory notes. Hartford: Oliver D. Cooke, 1810. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1972.

------. A digest of the laws of the state of Connecticut. New-Haven: S. Converse, 1822-23.

------. An oration on domestic slavery: Delivered at the North Meeting-House in Hartford, on the 12th day of May, A.D. 1791, at the meeting of the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom, and the Relief of Persons Unlawfully Holden in Bondage. Hartford: Printed and sold by Hudson and Goodwin, 1791.

------. A revision of Swift's Digest of the laws of Connecticut. New Haven: H. H. Peck, 1884.

------. A System of the Laws of the State of Connecticut. Windham: Printed by John Byrne, for the author, 1795-1796. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1972.

------. A vindication of the calling of the Special Superior Court, at Middletown, on the 4th Tuesday of August, 1815, for the trial of Peter Lung, charged with the crime of murder: With observations on the constitutional power of the legislature to interfere with the judiciary in the administration of justice. Windham, [Conn.]: Printed by J. Byrne, 1816.

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