John Smilie

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John Smilie (1741 – December 30, 1812) was an American politician from Fayette, Pennsylvania.

He served in both houses of the state legislature and represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House from 1793 until 1795 and from 1799 to 1812. Smilie was a prominent Jeffersonian, and was identified with the "'Quid" branch of the party. In 1806-07, during the debates over the abolition of the slave trade, Smilie was among the most outspoken against the evils of the slave trade. He argued that slaves illegally imported after 1808 should be freed, and that slave smugglers deserved the death penalty. Neither provision was adopted.

Smilie was born in Ireland and immigrated around 1760, settling first in Lancaster County. He moved to Fayette in 1780. He was elected to the Thirteenth Congress in 1812 but died before it opened.

He died in Washington, D.C., aged 71, and is buried in the Congressional Cemetery there.

Further reading[edit]

  • Everett, Edward. "John Smilie, Forgotten Champion of Early Western Pennsylvania." Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine 33 (September–December 1950), 77–89.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John Woods
Member, Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania,
representing Fayette County

November 2, 1786 – November 19, 1789
Succeeded by
Nathaniel Breading
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William Findley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
John Baptiste Charles Lucas
Preceded by
Andrew Gregg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 9th congressional district

Succeeded by
Isaac Griffin