William Jay Smith (Tennessee politician)

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William Jay Smith
William Jay Smith (Tennessee politician).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1871
Preceded by David A. Nunn
Succeeded by William W. Vaughan
Personal details
Born (1823-09-24)September 24, 1823
Birmingham, England
Died November 29, 1913(1913-11-29) (aged 90)
Memphis, Tennessee
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Ann Ross Smith
Profession Printer, surveyor, soldier, realtor, banker
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Union Army
Rank Union Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel, 6th Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Battles/wars Mexican-American War
American Civil War

William Jay Smith (September 24, 1823 – November 29, 1913) was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives for Tennessee's 8th congressional district.


Smith was born in Birmingham, England on September 24, 1823, and immigrated to the United States and settled in Orange County, New York. He attended the common schools, and after he had learned the printing trade, he moved to Tennessee in 1846.


During the Mexican-American War, in 1847, Smith served in a regiment from Tennessee. He moved to Hardeman County, Tennessee, and engaged in horticulture.

In the American Civil War, Smith served as a Brevet Brigadier General in the Union Army from 1861 to 1865. He was a delegate to the State constitutional convention in 1865. He was a member of the State house of representatives from 1865 to 1867. He also served in the State senate from 1867 to 1869, and again from 1885 to 1887. He was a surveyor of the port of Memphis, Tennessee from 1871 to 1883.[1]

Elected as a Republican to the Forty-first Congress, Smith served from March 4, 1869 to March 3, 1871.[2] An unsuccessful candidate for reelection, he engaged in the real estate and banking businesses. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876.


Smith died in Memphis, on November 29, 1913 (age 90 years, 66 days). He is interred at Elmwood Cemetery, in Memphis.[3]


  1. ^ "SMITH, William Jay – Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ "William Jay Smith". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "William Jay Smith". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
David A. Nunn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
William W. Vaughan