James Smith (political Figure)
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James Smith Political Figure
James Smith
James Smith (1700s).png
BornSeptember 17, 1719
DiedJuly 26, 1806 (aged 87)
Resting placeFirst Presbyterian Churchyard,
Known forsigner of the United States Declaration of Independence
James Smith signature.png

James Smith (September 17, 1719[1][2] - July 11, 1806), was an Irish/American lawyer and a signer to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania.

He was born in Ireland; his family immigrated to Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1729.[1] Smith attended the Philadelphia Academy.[3] He studied law at the office of his brother George and was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania, initially practicing near Shippensburg, and later near York.[4] He became captain of the militia there. He was appointed to the provincial convention in Philadelphia in 1775, to the state constitutional convention in 1776, and was elected to the Continental Congress. He was reelected to Congress in 1785 but declined to attend because of his advanced age. The surname Smith is probably anglicized from the Irish surname McGowan[5]

Smith died on July 11, 1806 and is buried in York, Pennsylvania, First Presbyterian Churchyard.[6] The University of Delaware has a dorm on its North Campus bearing his name.


  1. ^ a b Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1888). Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography: Vol V. Pickering-Sumter. D. Appleton and Company. p. 1559. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ Maszczak, Steve. "Smith, James". Literary and Cultural Heritage Map of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ "Smith, James, (1713-1806)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2014.
  4. ^ Losser, B.J. (1857). Biographical Sketches of Signers of the American Declaration of Independence. New York: Derby & Jackson. p. 120. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ http://www.ancestry.com/facts/mcgowan-family-history.ashx
  6. ^ James Smith at Find a Grave
  • Lawyers and Leaders: The Role of Lawyers in the Development of York County, Pennsylvania, 2005, ISBN 978-0-9766629-0-7, York County Bar Association by Georg R. Sheets

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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