Title: Williams’ Mansfield Directory, City Guide, and Business Mirror
Author: Williams, C. S.
Publication date: Mansfield, OH: D. Sturgess, 1858
Library: Columbia University (Butler Library)
Call number: 978.3M31 ZW
Submitted by: Tara Key
This city directory was given to Ebenezer Hazzard Swinney by James Estep Cox December 12, 1859. As shown below, they were like brothers. The second picture shows an inscription on page 72, under “Attorneys At Law,” which states that you could pay a dollar and have your name appear, but Cox ” put mine here for nothing.”
Swinney was a West Point grad (in his class entering in 1838 was Abner Doubleday) who became a Lt. Colonel of the 32nd Ohio Infantry, mustered in in Mansfield in 1861. He was the commander at the battles of Mc Dowell and Cross Keys, both Confederate victories and he seems to have given up his commission just in time to avoid being captured along with the rest of the 32nd at Harper’s Ferry in 1862. A history of the 32nd states, after the loss at Cross Keys, ” Lieut. Col. Sweeney [sic], commanding the regiment, did not get along well with Gen. Piatt, and in consequence there was much dissatisfaction throughout the regiment with the general commanding. ”
Cox was a lawyer in Mansfield, eventually becoming a judge and Justice of the Peace before his death in 1885. But the Census of 1870, in listing him as a lawyer, also lists him as insane. Below we see why!
In 1857, Cox was the author of a book: Exposition of Thomas W. Bartley, the present Chief Justice of the State of Ohio : showing him to be the second Haman that has made his appearance on this earth.
In an amazing and rambling 31 page statement, Cox says that he is aware the community thinks he is insane and yes, he has been committed to the Ohio Lunacy Asylum several times, and yes, someone may have been procured to assassinate him when he was the head of the Virginia Military School Lands and later in Fort Wayne, Indiana , and this was probably the cause of his defeat running for the office of Probate Judge, but Thomas Bartley, his accuser and Chief Justice of Ohio, is the second coming of the Haman.
Cox provides statements from other Mansfield residents establishing that he is well-loved and not insane. He refers to his friend, Honorable D. J. Swinney in one part of the screed, and Swinney attests to his “well-balanced mind” in a statement included in the book. Daniel Jackson Swinney is the father of Ebenezer Hazzard Swinney, and states in his defense of Cox that Cox is like a son to him.