Early life and education
He was born in Parsonsfield, Maine, where he attended Parsonsfield Seminary, a Free Will Baptist school. Sweat attended Bowdoin College, from which he graduated in 1837, and studied law with Rufus McIntire. He attended Harvard Law School, and after graduating in 1840 he was admitted to the bar and practiced law in New Orleans.
Marriage and family
Sweat returned to Maine and settled in Portland, where he continued to practice law. He married Margaret Jane Mussey in 1849. They did not have children.
Sweat held various local offices including Portland City Solicitor from 1856 to 1860. He served as a member of the Maine State Senate from 1861 to 1862.
He was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1863 to March 3, 1865. His vote on the Thirteenth Amendment is recorded as nay. He was defeated for reelection in 1864, and was an unsuccessful candidate for election to Congress in 1866.
He later was a delegate to the Union National Convention held in Philadelphia in 1868, and to the 1872 Democratic National Convention. In 1872 he was selected as a member of the Democratic National Committee. He served until 1876 and received credit for helping Samuel J. Tilden receive that year's Democratic nomination for President.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
John N. Goodwin
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maine's 1st congressional district
March 4, 1863 – March 3, 1865