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Governor Jeremiah Smith

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Office Dates:  Jun 08, 1809 - Jun 05, 1810

Born:  Nov 29, 1759

Passed:  Sep 21, 1842

Birth State:  New Hampshire

Party:  Federalist

Family:  Married twice-- Elizabeth Ross, Elizabeth Hale; two children

School(s):  Harvard University, Rutgers College

National Office(s) Served:  Representative

Military Service:  Army


JEREMIAH SMITH, the ninth governor of New Hampshire, was born in Peterborough, New Hampshire on November 29, 1759. His education was attained at Harvard University and Rutgers College in New Jersey, where he graduated in 1780. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1786, and then established his legal career in his hometown of Peterborough. Smith served in the Revolutionary War, and was wounded in the Bennington Battle. He first entered public service as a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, a position he held from 1787 to 1791. He served as a member of the 1791 and 1792 constitutional conventions; was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1791 to 1797; and served as the U.S. district attorney for New Hampshire from 1797 to 1800. He also served as probate judge of Rockingham County from 1800 to 1802; was a U.S. circuit court judge from 1801 to 1802; and served as chief justice of the New Hampshire superior court from 1802 to 1809. Smith next won election to the governorship in 1809. During his tenure, judicial reforms were lobbied for; and Dartmouth's medical school was advanced. After running unsuccessfully for reelection, Smith returned to his legal career. From 1813 to 1816 he served as chief justice of the state supreme court. He also was co-counsel with Daniel Webster and Jeremiah Mason in the well-known 1819 Dartmouth College case. Governor Jeremiah Smith passed away on September 21, 1842, and was buried in the Winter Street Cemetery in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Sources:

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.