Reference Entry

Smith, Oliver Hampton

John R. Van Atta

in American National Biography Online

Published in print January 1999 |
Published online February 2000 | e-ISBN: 9780198606697 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0300453

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Smith, Oliver Hampton (23 October 1794–19 March 1859), attorney, congressman, and U.S. senator, was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Smith and Letitia (maiden name unknown), occupations unknown. A devoted family of Quakers, the Smiths claimed ancestry in America dating to the founding of Pennsylvania in the 1680s. After fragmentary elementary schooling, young Oliver decided to carry his fortunes, and his limited resources, westward to Rising Sun, Indiana. He read law in Lawrenceburg and prepared to assume his role among the itinerant practitioners on the frontier. Admitted to the bar in 1820, Smith opened practice in Versailles and moved shortly after to Connorsville. In 1821 he married Mary Bramfield, also a Quaker; they had three children. By the following year he had built sufficient reputation to win election to the Indiana assembly....

Reference Entry.  1084 words. 

Subjects: US Politics ; Law ; Criminology and Criminal Justice

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