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William Jay Smith Autobiographical Sketch

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0909

In this autobiographical sketch, William Jay Smith describes his military career and ends with his election to the Tennessee Senate in 1867.

Dates

  • circa 1867

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet

Abstract

In this autobiographical sketch, William Jay Smith describes his military career and ends with his election to the Tennessee Senate in 1867.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Jay Smith was born to Thomas and Frances Smith in Birmingham, England on September 24, 1823. His family came to America when he was a child and he served four and a half years as a painter's apprentice in Goshen, New York. He moved south in 1846 and entered the Mexican-American War as part of James Wheat's Mounted Rangers. After the war ended, Smith settled in Memphis and worked as a painter. He married Mary Ann Ross (1829-1921) and the couple had several children. In 1858, Smith purchased a plantation at Grand Junction (Hardeman County), Tennessee and farmed until the Civil War broke out, when he returned to the military as part of the 1st Union Cavalry. He went on to serve with the 6th and 13th Union Cavalry and ended the war as a brevet Brigadier General. After the war, Smith returned to Memphis, bought land, and engaged in several forms of business. He also involved himself in politics, serving in the Tennessee State Senate (1867-1869; 1885-1887) and representing Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives (1869-1871). Smith died in Memphis, Tennessee on November 29, 1913 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480