Leonard Swett

Leonard Swett

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Leonard Swett was a civil and criminal lawyer who advised and assisted Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 throughout the president's political career.

Early life

Swett was born in 1825 near Turner, Maine
Turner, Maine
Turner is a town in Androscoggin County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,972 at the 2000 census. Turner includes the villages of Turner Center and North Turner...

 and educated at North Yarmouth Academy
North Yarmouth Academy
North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, co-ed, college preparatory day school serving students in grades 5-12 located in Yarmouth, Maine. The school offers a structured program that sets clear standards and high expectations in an environment that emphasizes values of mutual respect, trust and...

 and Colby College
Colby College
Colby College is a private liberal arts college located on Mayflower Hill in Waterville, Maine. Founded in 1813, it is the 12th-oldest independent liberal arts college in the United States...

, although he did not earn a degree. Swett read law in Portland, Maine
Portland, Maine
Portland is the largest city in Maine and is the county seat of Cumberland County. The 2010 city population was 66,194, growing 3 percent since the census of 2000...

 and enlisted in the army to serve in the Mexican-American War. After the war, he settled in Bloomington, Illinois
Bloomington, Illinois
Bloomington is a city in McLean County, Illinois, United States and the county seat. It is adjacent to Normal, Illinois, and is the more populous of the two principal municipalities of the Bloomington-Normal metropolitan area...

. In 1865, he settled in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...


He was appointed by Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

 John Palmer Usher
John Palmer Usher
John Palmer Usher was a U.S. administrator who served in the Cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War....

 to negotiate disputed claims to New Almaden Quicksilver Mine
New Almaden
The New Almaden quicksilver mine in the Santa Teresa Hills in Santa Clara County, California, United States, is the oldest and most productive quicksilver mine in the U.S. The site was known to the Ohlone Indians for its cinnabar long before a Mexican settler discovered the ores in 1820...