SMITH, Gerrit (1797-1874)

SMITH, GERRIT, a Representative from New York; born in Utica, N.Y., March 6, 1797; moved to Peterboro in 1806; attended an academy in Clinton, N.Y.; was graduated from Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y., in 1818; studied law; engaged in the management of a large estate which he inherited; delegate to the State conventions in 1824 and 1828; unsuccessful Liberty Party candidate for governor in 1840; unsuccessful presidential candidate in 1848; was admitted to the bar in 1853 and commenced practice in Peterboro, N.Y.; elected as a Free-Soil candidate to the Thirty-third Congress and served from March 4, 1853, until August 7, 1854, when he resigned; resumed the practice of his profession, and was a publicist and philanthropist; he revived the Anti-Dramshop Party, but was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1872 and supported Grant; died in New York City December 28, 1874; interment in Peterboro Cemetery, Peterboro, Madison County, N.Y.

Boston Public Library
Boston, MA
Papers: 177 items.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: 8 letters (1852-1863) in the Sydney Howard Gay collection.
Finding aid in repository.

Papers: 2 letters (1866-1869) in the Griffing collection.
Finding aid in repository.

Papers: 1 letter (September 26, 1836) in the L.S. Alexander Gumby collection.
Finding aid in repository.

Papers: 8 letters (1836-1844) in the John Jay collection.
Finding aid in repository.

Papers: 7 letters (1843-1860) in the Jay family collection.
Finding aid in repository.

Papers: 2 letters (January 11, 1840; August 10, 1855) in the Thomas W. Olcott collection.
Finding aid in repository.


Jervis Public Library
Rome, NY
Papers: 1853. 1 vote in the Thomas C. Bright autograph collection.
On proxies. Finding aid in repository.


Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Washington, DC
Papers: 1840-1873. 12 items.
Papers: In Franklin Benjamin Sanborn papers, 1852-1879. 121 items.
Correspondence (1857-1872) with Smith and correspondence (1877-1879) with Octavius Brooks Frothingham concerning biography of Smith.

Papers: 1775-1924. 77 reels of microfilm.
Originals in the George Arents Research Library, Syracuse University.


New-York Historical Society
New York, NY
Papers: 1834-1874. 45 letters.

New York Public Library
New York, NY
Papers: 1819-1874. In Smith family papers, 1769-1907.
2 boxes. Includes family letters, printed circular letters, and political speeches. Described in published guide.


Syracuse University
The George Arents Research Library
Syracuse, NY
Papers: In Gerrit Smith Miller papers, 1780-1880. 77 feet (40,000 items).
Name index in library. Described in published calendar.

  • Goodell, William. Address of the Macedon Convention, by William Goodell; and letters of Gerrit Smith. Albany: S. W. Green, 1847.
  • Frothingham, Octavius Brooks. Gerrit Smith; A Biography. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1878. Reprint, New York: Negro Universities Press, [1969].
  • Hammond, Charles Addison. Gerrit Smith. The story of a noble man life. Geneva, N.Y.: Press of W. F. Humphrey, 1900.
  • Harlow, Ralph Volney. Gerrit Smith, Philanthropist and Reformer. New York: H. Holt and Co., 1939. Reprint, New York: Russell & Russell, [1972].
  • Huch, Ronald K. "Patriotism Versus Philanthropy: A Letter From Gerrit Smith to Frederick Douglass." New York History 49 (July 1968): 327-35.
  • Smith, Gerrit. Abstract of the argument on the Fugitive Slave Law, made by Gerrit Smith in Syracuse, June, 1852, on the trial of Henry W. Allen, U.S. Deputy Marshal, for Kidnapping. Syracuse: Printed at the Daily Journal Office, [1852].
  • ------. An address. Reported by Gerrit Smith to the "Christian Union Convention" held in Syracuse, August 21st, 1838. [Syracuse, N.Y.?: N.p., 1838].
  • ------. Be natural!: A discourse. By Gerrit Smith in Peterboro, November 20, 1864. New York: American News, 1864.
  • ------. Compensated emancipation: A speech by Gerrit Smith, in the National Compensation Convention, held in Cleveland, Ohio, August 25, 26 and 27, 1857. [Cleveland, Ohio?: N.p., 1857].
  • ------. Controversy between New-York Tribune and Gerrit Smith. New-York: Printed by J. A. Gray, 1855.
  • ------. Correspondence of Gerrit Smith with Albert Barnes. 1868. New-York: American News Company; Philadelphia: A. Winch; [etc., etc., 1868?]
  • ------. Extract from a speech of Hon. Gerrit Smith, to his neighbors, in Peterboro, New York, June 22, 1872. [New York?: N.p., 1872].
  • ------. Gerrit Smith on McClellan's nomination and acceptance. New York: Loyal Publication Society, 1864.
  • ------. Gerrit Smith on religion. New York: S. Tousey, 1863.
  • ------. Gerrit Smith on the Fort Pillow and Plymouth massacres. [Peterboro? N.Y.: N.p., 1864].
  • ------. Homes for all. Washington, D.C.: Buell & Blanchard printers, 1854.
  • ------. Nature the basis of a true theology : existing theologies false, because lacking this basis. 2nd ed. Peterboro, New-York: For sale by Rev. J.W. West, 1867.
  • ------. No treason in civil war. Speech of Gerrit Smith, at Cooper Institute. New York, June 8, 1865. New York: For sale by The American News Company, 1865.
  • ------. The one test of character. A discourse by Gerrit Smith, in Peterboro, July twenty-second, 1860. New York: Ross & Tousey, 1860.
  • ------. Personal liberty bill, March 1859. [United States: N.p., 1859].
  • ------. A petition, to the Congress of the United States, from the towns of Smithfield and Fenner, Madison County, (N.Y.) on the subject of Sabbath mails, etc. [Peterboro, N.Y.?: N.p., 1829].
  • ------. Religion of reason. New-York: American News Company, 1864.
  • ------. Report from the county of Madison: To abolitionists. [Peterboro, N.Y.?: N.p., 1843].
  • ------. Sermons and speeches of Gerrit Smith. New York: Ross & Tousey, 1861. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1969.
  • ------. Spain--Cuba. [Peterboro, N.Y.?: N.p., 1873].
  • ------. Speech of Gerrit Smith, in Congress, on the reference of the President's message. December 20, 1853. Washington, D.C.: Buell & Blanchard, Printers, 1853.
  • ------. Speech of Gerrit Smith, made in the National Liberty Party Convention at Buffalo, September 17th, 1851, when the following resolutions were under discussion. [Buffalo, N.Y.?: N.p., 1851].
  • ------. Speech of Gerrit Smith, on the country, delivered at the Cooper Institute, New York, December 21, 1862. New York: Baker & Godwin, printers, 1862.
  • ------. Speech of Gerrit Smith: To his neighbors in Peterboro, N.Y., June 22d 1872. [N.p., 1872?]
  • ------. Speeches and letters of Gerrit Smith ... on the rebellion. New York: J. A. Gray & Green, printers [etc.], 1864-65.
  • ------. Speeches of Gerrit Smith in Congress [1853-1854]. New-York: Mason Brothers, 1856.
  • ------. Substance of the speech made by Gerrit Smith, in the Capitol of the State of New York, March 11th and 12th, 1850. 2d ed. enl. Syracuse: V. W. Smith & Co., Printers, 1850.
  • ------. Three discourses on the religion of reason. New York: Ross & Tousey, 1859.
  • ------. The true office of civil government. A speech in the city of Troy. New York: Printed by S. W. Benedict, 1851.