William Russell SMITH, Congress, AL (1815-1896)


SMITH, William Russell, a Representative from Alabama; born in Russellville, Ky., March 27, 1815; moved at an early age to Huntsville, Ala.; pursued classical studies and attended the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa; studied law; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Greensboro, Ala., in 1835; served as captain of Alabama State troops in the campaign against the Creek Indians in 1836; moved to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he continued the practice of law and also engaged in newspaper work; founded and edited the Mirror; mayor of Tuscaloosa in 1839; author of several books and plays; member of the state house of representatives 1841-1843; elected brigadier general of militia in 1845; judge of the seventh judicial circuit in 1850 and 1851; elected as a Unionist to the Thirty-second Congress, reelected as a Democrat to the Thirty-third Congress, and elected as an American Party candidate to the Thirty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1851-March 3, 1857); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1856 to the Thirty-fifth Congress; member of the state constitutional convention in 1861 and voted against secession; during the Civil War served in the Confederate Army as colonel of the Twenty-sixth Alabama Regiment; Representative in the First and Second Confederate Congresses; president of the University of Alabama 1869-1871; resumed the practice of his profession and engaged in historical and literary pursuits; died in Washington, D.C., on February 26, 1896; interment in Tuscaloosa, Ala.; reinterment in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

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