About James Smith
James Smith (September 17, 1719 – July 11, 1806), was a signer to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania.
He attended a provincial assembly in 1774 where he offered a paper he had written, called "Essay on the Constitutional Power of Great Britain over the Colonies in America." In the essay, he offered a boycott of British goods, and a General Congress of the Colonies, as measures in defense of colonial rights. Later that year he organized a volunteer militia company in York, which elected him Captain. His company later grew to be a battalion, at which point he deferred leadership to younger men.
He was appointed to the provincial convention in Philadelphia in 1775, the state constitutional convention in 1776, and was elected to the Continental Congress the same year. He remained in Congress only two years, and as Congress was meeting in Philadelphia in those days, provided his office for meetings of the Board of War.
James Smith retired from the Congress in 1777, and served in few public offices after: one term in the State assembly, a few months as a judge of the state High Court of Appeals. In 1782 he was appointed Brigadier General of the Pennsylvania militia. He was reelected to Congress in 1785 but declined to attend due to advancing age. Little is known about his work, because a fire destroyed his office and papers shortly before he died.