Image of Smith, David A.

Smith, David A.

b. July 18, 1804, in Charlotte County, Virginia; d. July 13, 1865, in Anoka, Minnesota. In his youth, Smith moved with his family to Pulaski, Tennessee, where he studied law. In 1824, he moved to Courtland, Alabama, where his father lived, and began to practice law. In 1834, he inherited a plantation with twenty-one slaves, whom he emancipated in 1837. The same year, Smith moved to Carlinville, Illinois, where he practiced law. In 1839, Smith moved to Jacksonville, where he entered into a partnership with attorney John J. Hardin that lasted until Hardin’s death in 1847. Originally a Whig, Smith later joined the Republican party and supported Lincoln's nomination to the presidency in 1860 and 1864. Smith served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College in Jacksonville from 1842 until his death in 1865.
Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 18 July 1865, 2; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899), 1:339, 347-50; United States Biographical Dictionary: Illinois Dictionary (Chicago: American Biographical Dictionary, 1876), 266-68; Doris Broehl Hopper, David A. Smith: Abolitionist, Patron of Learning, Prairie Lawyer (Jacksonville, IL: Morgan County Historical Society, 2003). Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.