Sweet, Martin P.

Born: 1806-12-31 New York

Died: 1864-03-05 Freeport, Illinois

Flourished: Freeport, Illinois

Sweet moved from his native state to Winnebago County, Illinois, in 1837. He operated a farm near Pecatonica and also, as a licensed minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, devoted part of his time to preaching. In 1840, he moved to Freeport and opened a law office. He gravitated to politics, and became a prominent member of the Whig Party in Stephenson County. In every election from 1840 to 1850, he stumped on behalf of Whig candidates in state and federal elections. In 1844, he ran against Joseph P. Hoge for the U.S. House of Representatives, but lost, thanks in large part to the large Mormon vote for Hoge in Hancock County. In 1850, he was practicing law in Freeport and owned real estate valued at $4,000. Also in 1850, he was again an unsuccessful candidate for Congress. Disheartened by his loss, Sweet left politics and closed his law office, devoting the next five years to the ministry. In 1855, he reopened his law office and continued practicing until his death. In 1860, he owned $8,000 in real estate and had a personal estate of $500. Martin married Catherine Van Etten, with whom he had six children.

Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, Ill. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1888), 691-92; John M. Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent(Chicago: Lewis, 1899), 2:1193-94; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 147; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Freeport, Stephenson County, IL, 242; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Freeport, Stephenson County, IL, 78; Mary Jane Seymour, Lineage Book National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Washington, DC: n. p., 1899), 8:50; Rodney O. Davis and Douglas L. Wilson, The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, The Lincoln Studies Center Edition (Urbana and Chicago: Knox College Lincoln Studies Center and University of Illinois Press, 2008), 332; Illinois Daily State Journal (Springfield), 11 March 1864, 3:2; Gravestone, Freeport City Cemetery, Freeport, IL.