Samuel Smith (Upper Canada politician)

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Samuel Smith
Samuel Smith.png
Administrator of the Government of Upper Canada
In office
11 June 1817 – 13 August 1818
Monarch George III
Preceded by Sir Frederick Philipse Robinson GCB (acting Governor)
Succeeded by Sir Peregrine Maitland KCB GCB
In office
8 March 1820 – 30 June 1820
Monarch George IV
Preceded by Sir Peregrine Maitland KCB GCB
Succeeded by Sir Peregrine Maitland KCB GCB
Personal details
Born 27 December 1756 (1756-12-27)
Hempstead, New York
Died 20 October 1826 (1826-10-21) (aged 69)
York, Upper Canada
Spouse(s) Jane Isabella Clarke
Religion Anglican
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1777-1802
Rank Captain, Lieutenant Colonel
Battles/wars Battle of Yorktown

Samuel Bois Smith (27 December 1756 – 20 October 1826) was a Loyalist British Army officer and politician. He was appointed to the Executive Council of Upper Canada and appointed Administrator of Upper Canada.

Smith was born in Hempstead, New York, the son of Scottish immigrants. In 1777, he joined the Queen's Rangers during the American Revolutionary War. He surrendered to the Americans after the Battle of Yorktown. Smith moved to the newly created colony of New Brunswick and then to England. He rose to the rank of captain and was sent to Niagara. He was promoted to the position of lieutenant-colonel of his regiment in 1801 before retiring to 1,000 acres (4 km²) of land he had bought in Etobicoke. Later some of this land was sold to John Strachan for the original Trinity College campus, now Trinity Bellwoods Park. Smith was appointed 30 November 1813 to the Executive Council of Upper Canada for the town of Etobicoke.

In 1817 he was sworn in as Administrator of Upper Canada in the absence of Lieutenant Governor Francis Gore and served until 1818. He acted again as Administrator in the absence of Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland for three months in 1820.

As Administrator, Smith was advised not grant land to American immigrants until they had taken the oath of allegiance and resided in Upper Canada for seven years. He decided to follow the advice of his Executive Council and not remove title to the land from those who did not qualify.

Smith was considered a weak official and was the target of complaints by both reformer Robert Gourlay and family compact member John Strachan who thought him feeble, inept and talentless. However, in April 1818, Smith ordered Gourlay arrested when he called an illegal assembly at York.

Smith retired from the Executive Council in October 1825. He died 20 October 1826 in York and left his wife and nine children. His son (Samuel B Smith Jr) was Clerk in the Executive Council of the Province of Canada and died in Toronto in 1882.[1]

Legacy[edit]

The City of Toronto's Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke was created in the 1970s and opened in 1996 along Lake Ontario is named in his honour. The park lands was part of his property (known as Colonel Smith Tract).[2]

Smith Estate[edit]

Following his death, his estate (on Lake Shore Boulevard between 40th and 41st Streets across from Long Branch GO Station) was occupied by his son and later sold. The last owner of the home was James Eastwood and the home was demolished in 1952.[3] It is now a residential community consisting of townhouses, detached homes and apartments.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Francis Gore
Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada
1817–1818
Succeeded by
Sir Peregrine Maitland