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The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905

Richard Montgomery Swearingen.


Dr. R. M. Swearingen was a descendant of Garret van Swer-
ingen, a native of Holland, who in his early youth entered the
service of the Dutch West India Company, and whose duties as an
employee of the company brought him in 1657, when he was only
twenty years of age, to New Amsterdam. After van Sweringen's
arrival, he gave up his place with the company, and a little later
he settled at New Amstel (New Castle.) After the English con-
quest of the Dutch settlements in that quarter, he moved to Mary-
land.2 Samuel Swearingen, grandson of Gerret v. Sweringen, mi-
grated from Maryland to North Carolina. Samuel's son Frederick
moved from North Carolina to Alabama, and Frederick's son,
Richard J., moved thence first to Mississippi, and then to Texas.
Richard J.'s son, Richard M., is the subject of this paper.
Richard Montgomery Swearingen was born in Noxubee County,
Mississippi, September 26, 1838. In 1848 his father moved, as
already noted, to Texas and settled in Washington County. Such
general literary and scientific training as Richard had from schools
was obtained at Chappell Hill College, Chappell Hill, Texas, and
from Centenary College, Jackson, Louisiana. He attended Cen-
tenary College during the year 1857-1858, and up till December,
1858, when he was called home by the serious illness of his mother.
On account of her death in January, 1859, he remained at home
1The materials from which this sketch has been compiled consist of a
collection of newspapers and private letters belonging to Mrs. R. M.
Swearingen, a register of the Swearingen family, an incomplete account
of the experiences of Dr. Swearingen in the Confederate service till the
end of the year 1862 written by himself, and some notes furnished by his
sister, Mrs. H. M. Kirby.
'In John Bennett's Barnaby Lee, which first appeared as a serial in St.
Nicholas and was afterwards issued in book form by the Century Company,
Gerret van Sweringen is one of the most important characters. How
faithful the portrait of him there may be, it would be difficult to judge;
but it is in some respects at least well drawn.

Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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