SMITH, Caleb Blood (1808-1864)

SMITH, CALEB BLOOD, a Representative from Indiana; born in Boston, Mass., April 16, 1808; moved with his parents to Ohio in 1814; attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1825-1826; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1828 and commenced practice in Connersville, Fayette County, Ind.; founded and edited the Indiana Sentinel in 1832; member of the State house of representatives 1833-1837, 1840, and 1841, and served as speaker in 1836; unsuccessful candidate for the Twenty-seventh Congress in 1841; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1849); chairman, Committee on Territories (Thirtieth Congress); appointed by President Zachary Taylor a member of the board to investigate claims of American citizens against Mexico; moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and practiced his profession; member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; appointed Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of President Lincoln and served from March 5, 1861, to January 1, 1863, when he resigned to become judge of the United States District Court for the District of Indiana, in which capacity he served until his death in Indianapolis, Marion County, Ind., January 7, 1864; interment in the City Cemetery, Connersville, Ind.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 1 letter.

Indiana Historical Society
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: 25 scattered letters.

Indiana State Library
Indianapolis, IN
Papers: 1846-1862. 19 letters. In the Lucius C. Embree papers, the Allen Hamilton papers and the Daniel D. Pratt papers.
Letters discussing Indian affairs, war with Mexico, politics, and business. Finding aid in repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1841-1862. 9 containers.
Chiefly political correspondence (1849). Described in published guide (1918). Index. Also on 4 reels of microfilm.

  • Bochin, Hal W. "Caleb B. Smith's Opposition to the Mexican War." Indiana Magazine of History 69 (June 1973): 75-114.
  • Smith, Caleb Blood. Speech of Mr. Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, on the annexation of Texas. Delivered in the House of Representatives of the U. S., Jan. 8, 1845. Washington: J. & G. S. Gideon, printers, 1845.
  • ------. Speech of Mr. Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, on the Mexican War, delivered in the House of Representatives of the United States, July 16, 1846. Washington: Printed by J. & G.S. Gideon, 1846.
  • ------. Speech, of Mr. Caleb B. Smith, of Indiana, on the war and its cost. Delivered in the House of Representatives of the U. States, February 3, 1848. Washington: Printed by J.& G.S. Gideon, 1848.
  • Thomas, Richard J. "Caleb Blood Smith: Whig Orator and Politician--Lincoln's Secretary of Interior." Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1969.