Smith, Samuel

Smith, Samuel (1752-1839) Statesman and General: Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on July 27, 1752, Smith learned about commerce by working for his merchant father. As a young man, he traveled extensively in Europe, returning to America after the Battle of Lexington. Appointed captain of a company in the Maryland line in 1776, he served the patriot cause on many occasions, including the Battles of Long Island, Harlem and White Plains. Promoted to the rank of major, then lieutenant-colonel, he was severely wounded in his defense of Fort Mifflin. Congress voted him thanks and a sword for his service to the country. Although he had to resign his commission after three and a half years because he ran out of money, he continued to serve as a colonel of the Baltimore militia until the end of the Revolutionary War. In 1783, Smith was appointed one of the port-wardens of Baltimore, and was a member of the House of Delegates from 1790 to 1792. Smith was one of the founders of the Bank of Maryland in 1790. When war with France seemed imminent, he was appointed a brigadier-general of the Baltimore militia, with the rank of major-general, and commanded Maryland troops as they put down the Whiskey Rebellion (1794). From 1793 to 1803, he served in the US House of Representatives, moving to the US Senate from 1803 to 1815, back to the House of Representatives from 1816 to 1822, then returning to the Senate from 1822 to 1833. Smith served briefly as President Jefferson's Secretary of the Navy in 1801, although he declined an official appointment. During the War of 1812, Smith was a brigadier-general of the militia, serving as a major-general of the state troops in defense of Baltimore. In 1835, at the age of 83, he was elected mayor of Baltimore, after successfully putting down a mob insurrection. Smith held this position until 1838, and died in Baltimore, on April 22, 1839.