Smith, Seba, 1792–1868, American humorist, b. Buckfield, Maine. He founded the Portland Courier in 1829 and in it began (1830) a series of humorous letters on politics under the pen name Major Jack Downing. His use of comic rustic speech and satirical comments on various political issues made him outstanding in the development of American humor. He eventually settled in New York City, where he wrote for various magazines. His works include Powhatan (1841) and Way Down East (1853).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.