Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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SWIFT, Zephaniah, jurist, born in Wareham, Massachusetts, in February, 1759; died in Warren, Ohio, 27 September, 1823. He was graduated at Yale in 1778, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began practice at Windham, Connecticut He was elected to congress, serving from 2 December, 1793, till 3 March, 1797, and was appointed in 1800 secretary to Oliver Ellsworth, minister to France. In 1801 he was appointed a judge of the state supreme court, and he was its chief justice in 1806-'19. He was a member of the Hartford convention of New England Federalists, sat in the state house of representatives, and was a member of a commission to revise the laws of Connecticut. He published " Oration on Domestic Slavery" (Hartford, 1791) ; "System of the Laws of Connecticut" (2 vols., Windham, 1795-'6) ; "Digest of the Laws of Evidence in Civil and Criminal Cases, and a Treatise on Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes" (Hartford, 1810) ; and "Digest of the Laws of Connecticut" (2 vols., New Haven, 1822-'3). -His daughter, MARY A., published about 1833 "First Lessons on Natural Philosophy," which was a popular text-book for many years, and was translated into Karen (1846) and into Burmese (1848).
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