Congressman William Smith

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Congressman William M. Smith, Major

Birthplace: Wrightstown, Bucks, Pennsylvania, United States
Death: June 22, 1837 (85)
Glenn Springs, Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
Place of Burial: Glenn Springs, Spartanburg, SC, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Ralph "the elder" Smith and Mercy Smith
Husband of Mourning Smith
Father of Aaron Smith; Lettice Jenkins; Colonel Isaac Smith; Dr. Eber Smith; Massey Penquite Smith and 8 others
Brother of Rachel Compton; Zopher Nathan Smith; George Lumpkin Smith and Aaron Smith
Half brother of Ralph Hoard Smith, Jr. and Samuel Smith

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Congressman William Smith


Smith DNA Project

William Smith was a U. S. Congressman, State Senator, and County Judge from Spartanburg Co., South Carolina. Smith was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the oldest son of Ralph Smith and Mercy Penquite Smith. He moved to Spartan District, South Carolina with his family in 1765 where he became a planter. He led a distinguished life, his military career beginning against the Cherokee Indians; when the Revolution broke out he entered the service and remained to the close, with the rank of Captain & later reaching the rank of Major. He took part in several battles including Guilford Court House, one of the severest in the State, and saved the day at Musgrove Mill by disabling the British commander. He was an uncompromising patriot in the darkest hour in South Carolina, when others were seeking Royal protection.

William & Mourning (Bearden) Smith were married in 1798 in Ninety-Six District, SC. To this union 14 children were born.

After the war he was elected county judge, member of Congress, 1797-99, and a member of the state Senate for twenty years, serving in the South Carolina Senate from the Spartan District from 1790 to 1796 later elected a Democratic-Republican to the fifth congress serving from 1797 to 1799. He was elected again to the South Carolina Senate, serving from 1810 to 1818. He remained in the Spartanburg, SC area until his death in 1837. Joseph M. Rogers, historian, says of him: "He was leader of the House, a solid man of some eloquence, and had he remained longer in Congress, would have become a leading figure in American politics." Simon C. Draper summed up his eulogy in these words: "Few men served the public longer or more faithfully than Judge Smith." [ - link to Will of Judge William Winn Smith. Here is a transcription of William's Last Will and Testament:

"Will of William Smith of Spartanburg Co. SC, weak of body; 3 Oct. 1835, proved 10 July 1837; to my son Eber Smith for life, 200 acres where he formerly lived; to my son Ralph Smith 400 acres whereon he now lives being the remainder of a tract of 600 acres, the other 200 acres are disposed of as hereinbefore directed to my son Eber. In as much as I have advanced money to my son Isaac Smith to pay for land, the titles for which are in his own name, I do not think it proper to give any thing more in land or real estate. To my son William Smith 125 acres which I purchased at Sheriff Sale when it was sold as the property of John Varnes Senr. I also give to my son William Smith another tract of 300 acres lying on both sides of Blackstock's Road on waters of Dutchmans Creek and Cane Creek. To my two sons John Winn Smith and Elihu Penquite Smith, the tract of land whereon I now live, together with all my other lands lying in this one body adj. thereto to be divided between them in the following manner: by a line beginning at Tivets line where it crosses what is called the dry fork of Wileys fork of Dutchman's Creek, ... above my upper fence, ... then a straight line to James Moors corner at the upper end of a pond, ... the whole of the eastwardly end of said lands from said dividing line to go to my son John Winn Smith, being the part on which he now lives, and the whole of the westwardly end to go to my son Elihu Penquite being the part upon which he now lives and upon which I myself also live; To my daughter Sarah Smith my negro girl named Nelly; To my dau. Jane C. Smith my negro girl named Eliza; All my negroes except the two above named which I have in my possession, together with their increase up to the time hereinafter appointed for dividing them to my nine children, viz, Lettice, wife of William Jenkins, to her and her heirs forever; Eber Smith during his life; Sarah Smith; Mary wife of Joel G. Brewton to her and her heirs forever; Jane C. Smith to her and her heirs forever; John Winn Smith to him and his heirs forever; to Elihu P. Smith to him and his heirs forever; Massey ??; to Wk? wife of ?? H. Hobbs to her and her heirs forever; and Eliphas Twinning Smith to him and his heirs forever; If the heirs cannot decide on a good division of the negroes, then three disinterested persons make the division, in which case my dau. Jane C. Smith is to have her choice of the lots and the other eight to be divided among the other eight legatees by casting lots; should any of the heirs be deceased at the time of division, then the legal representatives of such deceased shall be entitled to receive that share; the negroes embraced in this bequest to my nine children are to remain within this state in full possession of my wife Mourning Smith for her own particular use for her life or widowhood, and after her death or marriage are to be devied. Each of the nine legatees shall pay two-twelfth parts of the value of their lot, one twelfth to go to my son William Smith and the other one twelfth part to be equally divided between my two sons Isaac Smith and Ralph Smith. I give to my two grandsons Aaron M. Smith and George A. Smith after the death of their father, all the land and negroes herein given and bequeathed to my son Eber Smith during his life, to them and their heirs forever, and the negroes are not to be moved out of this state during my son Eber Smith's life. Should my dau. Sarah Smith die without having lawful issue, then the negroes given her by this will shall, after her death, go to my other four daughters to be equally divided, the heirs of a deceased dau. to have their mother's share. Out of my money on hand and debts due me, I give to my five daus. Lettice Jenkins, Massey R. Rabb, Sarah Smith, Mary Brewton and Jane C. Smith $500 each should there be sufficient, otherwise, the money to be equally divided between them; After paying my funeral expenses and debts, the residue be equally divided between all my children including both sons and daus. To each of my two daus. Sarah Smith and Jane C. Smith, beds and other furniture ... as I have given my daus. who are married. The balance of my household and kitchen furniture to remain in possession of my wife Mourning Smith for life or widowhood, then sold and equally divided; also stock to wife Mourning Smith for life etc., she to have the full use for life or widowhood of all the lands given my two sons John Winn Smith and Elihu Penquite Smith, except as I have heretofore suffered them severally to live and occupy, and after her death the land to go to them. Appoint my two sons John Winn Smith and Elihu Penquite Smith execs; revoke other wills. Wit. James Hamen, Mark Burnett, Turner Rountree

The graves of William and Mourning (Bearden) Smith are very remote and are in very good condition. Some of their children are also buried there. The land was deeded to remain a cemetery and this deed is recorded in Spartanburg, SC. William's burial crypt reads: "Sacred to the Memory of MAJ. WILLIAM SMITH Who departed this life June 23, 1837 Aged 86 Yrs 9 Mos And 3 Ds. He emigrated from the state of Pennsylvania with his Father when a boy, and was one of the first settlers of Spartanburg District where he afterwards always resided. He took an active part in stimulating the people of this section of the country to resist the oppressions of Great Britain; and served himself as a Captain during the war of the Revolution. After the organization of the Government he was appointed Judge of the County court, and was afterwards elected to Congress from Pinckney district and subsequently served for near twenty years as Senator from Spartanburg district in the state legislature. It may be emphatically said of him that he was an Honest Man and a Patriot." THE HISTORY OF BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, CHAPTER XVI, WRIGHTSTOWN, 1703: from the discovery of the Delaware to the present time by W. W. H. Davis, A.M., 1876 and 1905* editions.. Contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Donna Bluemink.

Served in the Revolutionary War.DAR #A106118

US Congressman from 1797 to 1799. (Democratic-Republican in fifth congress.) Judge from 1785 to 1797. Served in the South Carolina State Senate from 1810 to 1818.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress - - SMITH, William, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Bucks County, Pa., September 20, 1751; removed to South Carolina with his father in 1765; planter, of Spartan District; fought in the Revolutionary War; county court judge, 1785-1797; South Carolina senate from Spartan District 1790-1796; elected as a Republican to Fifth Congress (March 4, 1797-March 3, 1799); again a member of the South Carolina senate from Spartan District 1810-1818; died in Spartan District June 22, 1837; probably buried in Glenn Springs section of Spartanburg.

John Winsmith was born John Winn Smith in the upstate near Glenn Springs, S.C.; from 1822 to 1825, he attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; upon his return to S.C., he practiced medicine in Spartanburg and Union Districts. An act of the South Carolina Legislature changed his name from John Winn Smith to John Winsmith. He represented Spartanburg District in the S.C. legislature from 1830 to 1832 and again from 1852 to 1862 and 1865-1866. He also served as a delegate to the Southern Rights Convention of 1852; during the Civil War, he serve the Confederate Army as captain of Company H, 1st Regiment, S.C. Volunteers. While serving in the S.C. Senate, he opposed the 1865 "Black Code" that attempted to exert control over freedmen. Previously a Democrat, he joined the Republican Party in 1870 and was subsequently attacked and seriously wounded by the Ku Klux Klan because of his cooperation with the Radical government. He died and is buried in Spartanburg, S.C.; husband of Catherine Elizabeth Faber Winsmith and father of John Christopher Winsmith (1834-1877) and Kate Winsmith Moore; son of William Smith (1751-1837) and brother of Isaac Smith (1784-1857).


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Congressman William Smith's Timeline

September 20, 1751
Wrightstown, Bucks, Pennsylvania, United States
January 12, 1781
Pauline, Spartanburg, SC, United States
June 6, 1783
Spartanburg, SC, United States
October 31, 1784
Pauline, Spartanburg, South Carolina, United States
December 1787
Pauline, Spartanburg, SC, United States
Pauline, Spartanburg, SC, United States
April 29, 1792
Pauline, Spartanburg, SC, United States
Pauline, Spartanburg, SC, United States
January 24, 1795
Pauline, Spartanburg, SC, United States