SMITH, Francis Ormand Jonathan

1806–1876

Biography

SMITH, Francis Ormand Jonathan, a Representative from Maine; born in Brentwood, N.H., November 23, 1806; attended Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, N.H.; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Portland, Maine, in 1826; division advocate of the fifth division of the circuit court-martial in Maine 1829-1834; served in the state house of representatives in 1831; member of the state senate in 1833 and served as its president; elected as a Jacksonian to the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Congresses and as a Democrat to the Twenty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1833-March 3, 1839); chairman, Committee on Commerce (Twenty-fifth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1838 to the Twenty-sixth Congress; assisted Professor Morse in perfecting and introducing the electric telegraph; again a member of the state house of representatives in 1863 and 1864; died in Deering (later Woodfords), Maine, October 14, 1876; interment on his estate, "Forest Home"; reinterment in Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Maine.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1789-1844. 9 containers. Digest of reports of congressional committees, 1st to 28th Congresses.

Maine Historical Society

Portland, ME
Papers: 1818-1876. 12 feet (6,000 items). Correspondence (chiefly legal and political), legal papers, scrapbooks, pamphlets, and other papers. Described in published guide.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: March 30, 1840; August 5, 1853. 2 letters. Finding aid in repository.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Gaffney, Thomas L. "Maine's Mr. Smith: A Study of the Career of Francis O. J. Smith, Politician and Entrepreneur." Ph.D. diss., University of Maine, 1979.

Greene, H. W. Letters addressed to Francis O. J. Smith, Representative in Congress from Cumberland District. [Concord? N.H.]: N.p., 1839.

Hayes, Thomas M. The opening and closing arguments of Hon. Thomas M. Hayes and Hon. Francis O. J. Smith, before the Superior court of Suffolk County, Mass., Mr. Justice Putnam, presiding, February 26th, 27th, and 28th, 1866, on a motion for a new trial, in the case of the state vs. Smith. Portland, [Maine]: Press of Brown Thurston & Co., 1866.

Smith, Francis Ormond Jonathan. History getting right on the invention of the American electro-magnetic telegraph. [N.p., 1872?]

------. Mr. Smith's review of the "Letter of Leonard Jarvis, to his constituents of the Hancock and Washington district, in Maine." [N.p., 1835].

------. The secret corresponding vocabulary. Portland, [Maine]: Thurston, Ilsley & Co., 1845.

------. A statement of facts, concerning the history and management of the Portland Gas Light Company. [Portland, Maine: N.p., 1852].

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