Smith Genealogy


Jeremiah Smith Genealogy

(7.) III. JEREMIAH SMITH, [10-6] LL. D., b. Nov. 29, 1759, d. Sept. 21, 1842, distinguished from his earliest years by "an intense love of knowledge," began the study of Latin at the age of 12 years, entered Harvard College 1777, about the same time enlisted for two months in the army, and was in the battle of Bennington. After residing two years at Cambridge, he entered Queen's (now Rutger's) College in New Jersey, a year in advance, and graduated 1780. He remained nearly two years undecided what profession to take. He began the study of law in Aug. 1782, with Shearjashub Bourne, Barnstable, Mass., being at the same time a private teacher in the family of Brigadier Otis. Remaining a year in Barnstable, he spent the next year in Andover Academy, as assistant instructor to Dr. Pierson. In 1784 he read law at Salem, Mass., under the direction of William Pynchon, taking charge of a small school of young ladies at the same time. Mr. Smith was admitted to the bar by the Court of Common Pleas, Hillsborough county, N. H., in the spring of 1786, and almost immediately took his place at the head of the bar. His office was in a chamber of his father's house at Peterborough. he was employed in the business of the town, held the office of town clerk, and for several years was one of the selectmen. He made great efforts for the improvement of the public schools. Through his influence five new schoolhouses were built in 1791, better teachers were procured, and a lasting impulse given to the cause of education. During three years, 1783-89-90, Mr. Smith represented the town in the General Court. In Dec. 1790, he was chosen a member of the 2d Congress, and was elected for three more successive terms. In 1797, he removed to Exeter. In July of that year he was appointed U. S. Attorney for the District of New Hampshire, and in the same month resigned his office as member of Congress. In the fall of 1800 he was appointed Judge of Probate for the County of Rockingham, and continued in that office for about two years. In Feb. 1801, he was appointed a Judge in the U. S. District Court. On the repeal of the Judiciary Law, in March, 1802, his office was abolished; but in May of the same year he was appointed Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Judicature in New Hampshire. In 1809, he was chosen Governor of New Hampshire, but failing of a re-election, he returned to the bar. Under a new Judiciary act in 1813, Mr. Smith was again appointed Chief Justice; but this act was rescinded in 1816, and he returned once more to the practice of law. In 1820, at the age of 61, he withdrew from the active duties of his profession with an ample fortune, the fruit of his own industry and judicious economy. [For the above facts we are indebted to the Life of Judge Smith, by Rev. J. H. Morison.]

Judge Smith was m. March 8, 1797, to Eliza Ross of Prince George County, Md., by Rev. John Knox of Bladensburgh. She died June 19, 1827, a. 59.

Their children were:

42-1. Ariana, b. Dec. 28, 1797, d. June 20, 1829.
43-2. William, b. Aug. 31, 1799, d. March 29, 1830, at Centreville, MD. He graduated at Harvard College 1817, practiced law at Exeter, and in the years 1821, 2 and 3, was a representative from Exeter in the General Court.
44-3. A daughter, b. Sept. 4, 1801, d. Sept. 25, 1801
45-4. Jeremiah, b. Aug. 20, 1802, drowned Oct. 14, 1808.
46-5. A daughter, b. Sept. 25, 1804, d. Sept. 26, 1804.

Sept. 20, 1831, Judge Smith m. Elizabeth Hale, daughter of Hon. William Hale of Dover, N. H.

47-6. Jeremiah, b. July 14, 1837.

For parents of Jeremiah Smith, see William Smith Genealogy.



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