The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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William Henry Swift, 1800-1879

Nationality: American
Date of Birth: 1800.11.06
Place of Birth: Taunton, MA
Date of Death: 1879.04.07
Place of Death: New York, NY


He was the son of Foster Swift and Deborah Delano. He married twice: 1. Mary Stewart, 2. Hannah Howard.


A graduate of the USMA, West Point, NY he became 2nd Lieutenant of Artillery, US army, and 1st Lieutenant in 1824. He worked on Coastal improvements on surveys for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. He became principal Assistant topographical engineer, Captain in 1838, and principal Assistant in Topographical Bureau, Washington, DC, from 1843 to 1849. He was responsible for the construction of the first skeleton iron tower lighthouse in US, Black Rock Harbour, CT. He became president of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad, and Massachusetts Western Railroad. He published a report on Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1846.


Who Was Who in America. Historical Volume, 1607-1896, Chicago, 1963, p. 517.