SCHS: Court History — Rosette Detail

Noah H. Swayne, 1862-1881

Justice Noah H. Swayne, 1862-1881
NOAH H. SWAYNE was born in Frederick County, Virginia, on December 7, 1804. At an early age he studied medicine under a physician in Alexandria, Virginia, but he eventually abandoned medicine to read law with an attorney in Warrenton, Virginia. He was admitted to the bar in 1823. Because of his opposition to slavery, in 1824 Swayne moved to the free state of Ohio. The following year he established a practice in Coshocton and was soon elected Prosecuting Attorney of Coschocton County. In 1829, he was elected to the State Legislature. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson appointed Swayne United States Attorney for Ohio. He moved to Columbus to discharge his new duties and retained the position under President Martin Van Buren until 1841. Swayne was elected to the Columbus City Council in 1834, and in 1836 served another term in the State Legislature as a representative of Franklin County. On January 21, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Swayne to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate confirmed the appointment on January 24, 1862. Swayne retired from the Supreme Court on January 24, 1881, after serving for eighteen years. He died on June 8, 1884, at the age of seventy-nine.