Gerrit SMITH, Congress, NY (1797-1874)


SMITH, Gerrit, a Representative from New York; born in Utica, N.Y., March 6, 1797; moved to Peterboro in 1806; attended an academy in Clinton, N.Y.; was graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., in 1818; studied law; engaged in the management of a large estate which he inherited; delegate to the State conventions in 1824 and 1828; unsuccessful Liberty Party candidate for governor in 1840; unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1848; was admitted to the bar in 1853 and commenced practice in Peterboro, N.Y.; elected as a Free-Soil candidate to the Thirty-third Congress and served from March 4, 1853, until August 7, 1854, when he resigned; resumed the practice of his profession, and was a publicist and philanthropist; he revived the Anti-Dramshop Party, but was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1872 and supported Grant; died in New York City December 28, 1874; interment in Peterboro Cemetery, Peterboro, Madison County, N.Y.


Harlow, Ralph V. Gerrit Smith, Philanthropist and Reformer. New York: H. Holt and Co., 1939. Reprint, New York: Russell & Russell [1972].

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present