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William Henry Swift Edit Profile

army officer , engineer

William Henry Swift, American army officer, engineer.


Swift, William Henry was born on November 6, 1800 in Taunton, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Doctor Foster and Deborah (Delano) Swift.


Graduated from the United States Military Academy.


Commissioned Second lieutenant arty, United States Army, First lieutenant, 1824. Worked on coastal improvements on surveys for Chesapeake and Ohio Canal for a projected canal across Florida peninsula. Brevetted captain, 1832, also assistant topographical engineer.

Commissioned captain, 1838. Principal assistant in Topographical Bureau, Washington, District of Columbia, 1843-1849. Responsible for construction of 1st skeleton iron tower lighthouse in the United States, Black Rock Harbor, Connecticut, resigned Commission, 1849.

Became president Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore R.R., also Massachusetts Western R.R. President of the board of trustees Illinois & Michigan Canal, 1845-1871. Published report on Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, 1846.


Married Mary Stuart, 1825. Married second, Hannah Howard, 1844.

Doctor Foster Swift

Deborah (Delano) Swift

Mary Stuart

Hannah Howard