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SMITH, Samuel



SMITH, Samuel, a Representative and a Senator from Maryland; born in Carlisle, Pa., July 27, 1752; moved with his family to Baltimore, Md., in 1759; attended a private academy; engaged in mercantile pursuits; served in the Revolutionary War as captain, major, and lieutenant colonel; engaged in the shipping business; member, State house of delegates 1790-1792; at the time of the threatened war with France in 1794 was appointed brigadier general of militia and commanded Maryland's quota during the Whisky Rebellion; during the War of 1812 served as major general of militia in the defense of Baltimore; elected to the Third and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1793-March 3, 1803); did not seek renomination in 1802, having become a candidate for Senator; chairman, Committee on Commerce and Manufactures (Fifth through Seventh Congresses); elected as a Democratic Republican to the United States Senate in 1802; reelected in 1808 and served from March 4, 1803, to March 3, 1815; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Ninth and Tenth Congresses; elected to the Fourteenth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Nicholas R. Moore; reelected to the Fifteenth, Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Congresses and served from January 31, 1816, to December 17, 1822, when he resigned, having been elected Senator; chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Treasury (Fourteenth Congress), Committee on Ways and Means (Fifteenth through Seventeenth Congresses); elected in 1822 as a Democratic Republican (later Crawford Republican and Jacksonian) to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William Pinkney; reelected in 1826 and served from December 17, 1822, to March 3, 1833; served as President pro tempore of the Senate during the Twentieth and Twenty-first Congresses; chairman, Committee on Finance (Eighteenth through Twenty-second Congresses); mayor of Baltimore, Md., 1835-1838; retired from public life; died in Baltimore, April 22, 1839; interment in the Old Westminster Burying Ground.

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

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External Research Collections

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 15 items.

Brown University

Providence, RI
Papers: 1 letter to a newspaper editor (no date) answering a letter critical of Smith's conduct at Fort Mifflin; and 1 letter (February 18, 1822) from Robert Spence Traill.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1777-1814. 1 volume. Copies of letters, reports, and orders written by and to Smith during the Revolution and War of 1812.

Cornell University
Rare Books and Manuscript Collections

Ithaca, NY
Papers: 1 letter (April 10, 1787) from Mordecai Gist in Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, Volume VII, Miscellany, 1764-1792; and a portrait in Volume VIII, Miscellany, 1776-1816.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: In James Hamilton collection, 1750-1899.

Johns Hopkins University
Milton S. Eisenhower Library

Baltimore, MD
Papers: 23 letters (1779-1833) in Greenway collection.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In Samuel Smith family papers, 1772-1911 (bulk 1777-1865). 3.6 linear feet. Includes correspondence, letterbooks, and political and military papers pertaining to various issues including family commercial dealings, state of the national debt and rechartering of the Bank of the United States, public finance, political activities, the legislative agenda, defense of Baltimore during the War of 1812, bombardment of Fort McHenry (September 13-14, 1814), foreign trade policy, construction of the C & O Canal, and establishment of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Also on 6 microfilm reels. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 30 items in Peter Force collection.

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore, MD
Papers: 1776-1837. 66 items. Chiefly correspondence relating to his military service in the Revolution, Maryland Militia, and War of 1812, and his business and political activities. Also miscellaneous papers in several collections.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: 1814-1815. 44 items. Correspondence, powers of attorney, records of prize sales, shares and articles of agreement relating to the disposal of goods taken by the privateer schooner Mammoth.

New York State Library
Manuscripts and Special Collections

Albany, NY
Papers: February 26, 1777. 1 item. United States Congress resolutions regarding the lottery including a list (January 8, 1782) of owners of shares of Brigantine Chasmarie.

Rosenbach Museum and Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1800-1816. 20 letters. To Alexander Dallas concerning elections, foreign relations, taxes, tariffs, Second Bank of the United States, and actions near Baltimore in War of 1812.

University of California, Berkeley
The Bancroft Library

Berkeley, CA
Papers: 1 letter (April 4, 1785) from Smith in Thomas Jefferson papers, [ca. 1785-1822].

University of Michigan
William L. Clements Library

Ann Arbor, MI
Papers: 23 letters (1781-1837) chiefly from post-congressional career in various collections. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: 1729-1924. 3 feet and 6 reels of microfilm. In part transcripts and photocopies. Correspondence, account books, patents, indentures, scrapbooks, genealogical and family information, and portraits. Topics include politics, the Burr conspiracy, mercantile and business activities, naval affairs, the embargo, and the tariff. Includes material collected by Cary Nichols Fink for his biography of Smith.

Virginia Historical Society

Richmond, VA
Papers: Ca. 20 items in Smith family papers.

Western Reserve Historical Society

Cleveland, OH
Papers: Correspondence in War of 1812 collection, 1810-1820.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Cassell, Frank A. "General Samuel Smith and the Election of 1800." Maryland Historical Magazine 63 (December 1968): 341-59.

___. Merchant Congressman in the Young Republic: Samuel Smith of Maryland, 1752-1839. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1971.

Pancake, John S. Samuel Smith and the Politics of Business, 1782-1839. University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1972.

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Committee Assignments

  • House Committee - Ways and Means - Chair
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