Leonard Swett (Chicago Tribune)

“Leonard Swett Is Dead,” Chicago (IL) Tribune, June 9, 1889, p. 9: 3-4.

At Bloomington he became a close friend of Judge David Davis. In his travels through the Eighth Judicial District in the years between 1850 and 1860 he met Lincoln, often practiced in the same courts with him, and they became the warmest of personal friends. The admiration of each man for the other was genuine and strong.

Judge Davis and Mr. Swett both appreciated Lincoln. They saw that he was the man the Nation needed, and it was largely their efforts which led to Lincoln’s nomination. Mr. Swett was a prime mover in this and was a controlling influence in planning and executing that remarkable campaign which resulted in his nomination and election.

The political prominence which his successful championship of Lincoln brought led to his being the most prominent candidate for Governor of Illinois. He was defeated in the convention by the supporters of all the other candidates, who united on “Dick” Yates. After Lincoln’s election Mr. Swett went to Washington to urge the appointment of Judge Davis to the Supreme Bench. Judge Davis had but a local reputation. He was opposed by O. H. Browning, a man of National repute who had already made his mark in the United States Senate. Lincoln heard Mr. Swett’s plan and said: “But what will I do with you?”

“I’ll give you a receipt in full,” said Mr. Swett, “but if anything ever does come around to me give me something that will pay.”

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