Augustus Muhlenberg Swift


Augustus Muhlenberg Swift attended St. Paul’s School from 1862 to 1868 and is a member of the Form of 1867.  From 1873 – 1883 Swift was a teacher at SPS, teaching History and English.  His father, John Swift, was a Trustee of the School.

Pier’s St. Paul’s School 1855-1934 (pg. 109-112) describes his time at St. Paul’s School:

Bringing in an atmosphere of art, beauty, exquisiteness, not to say luxury and fashion, he was a pioneer in a school which hitherto had been accustomed to severe simplicity in all outward manifestations. . . He delighted to give dramatic recitations and to act. . . his temperament was that of the artist. . .

Unfortunately, Mr. Swift’s career at St. Paul’s was all too short. A severe illness compelled him to withdraw from the school in 1880 for the better part of a year. He was never in quite robust health afterwards.  In 1884 he married and obtained a leave of absence for a year.  He and his wife went to Italy for their honeymoon; in Rome he was stricken by a fever and died.  The first organ in the New Chapel was given by his friends among the old boys of the school as a memorial to him.  As lovable as he was talented, of priceless influence in mellowing and humanizing the spirit of St. Paul’s, dying when he was still a young man, he should be remembered as one who made a permanent contribution to the character and tone of the school.

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Sarony's Imperial Portraits. "Augustus Muhlenberg Swift." St. Paul's School. Ohrstrom Library Digital Archives. Web. 17 Jan. 2021.