Bullet-Point Bio: James Smith

-One of the signers of the United States Declaration of Independence from Pennsylvania

-James Smith was born September 17, 1719 in Ulster Ireland.  His family moved to Pennsylvania in 1729.

-While growing up in Pennsylvania he received his education from a local church minister.  After graduating, he went on to study law in Lancaster.  At the age of 26 he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar.

-He set up his office in Cumberland County.  Since there was a lot of land there, he spent most of his time surveying until he was needed to practice law.  After several years of that, he moved to York where he was able to practice law full time.

-In 1774 Smith attended a provincial assembly where he was able to present an essay he had written entitled “Essay on the Constitutional Power of Great Britain over the Colonies in America”.  It was written in defense of colonial rights.

-In 1775 he was elected to the provincial convention in Philadelphia, and then in 1776 he was elected to the Continental Congress.

-In 1782 he was elected as the Brigadier General of the Pennsylvania militia.

-He only stayed in Congress several years.  He was reelected in 1785 but did not attend because of his poor health.

-James Smith died on July 11, 1806 and is buried today in the First Presbyterian Churchyard in York, Pennsylvania.


Taken from : Signers of the Declaration of Independence and Wikipedia.

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