Reading Time: 2 minutes Swayne was born on December 7th, 1804 in Frederick County, Virgina. His father passed away when Swayne was only 5. Shortly after his father’s passing, Swayne was enrolled in Jacob Mendendhall’s Academy, a respected Quaker school in Virginia. After graduating he began studying medicine until his teacher passed away in 1819. Despite the family having no money, Swayne turned his attention to the law. He began reading law with two Virgina attorneys and passed the bar in 1823.