(b. North Carolina, ca. 1762; d. 26 June 1840, at family estate near Huntsville, Ala.), lawyer and jurist. Reared and educated in York County, South Carolina, William Smith knew Andrew Jackson and William H. Crawford as boyhood friends. He became a successful lawyer in York County and served in the state senate from 1802 until 1808, when he was elected to the state court of appeals. He resigned from the bench in 1816 when he was elected by the legislature to the United States Senate. Smith served in the Senate until 1823 and again from 1826 to 1831. As a senator he defended states' rights and opposed banks, internal improvements, the tariff, and John C. Calhoun. In 1832 Smith moved to Louisiana and then to Huntsville, Alabama, where he prospered through shrewd investments in land and served in the lower house of the legislature.
From The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States in Oxford Reference.