Smith, Robert (Congressman)

Born: 1802-06-12 Peterborough, New Hampshire

Died: 1867-12-21 Alton, Illinois

Smith's early career included teaching, working as a merchant, and manufacturing textiles in Northfield, New Hampshire. In 1827, he married Sarah P. Bingham, with whom he had two children. Smith earned admittance to the bar and moved to Alton, Illinois, in 1832. Smith again worked as a merchant and won election as a captain in the State Militia. He earned a substantial amount of money through land speculation. Voters selected him for the Illinois House of Representatives in 1836, and he served until 1840. Smith won a position as enrolling and engrossing clerk of the House in 1840 and 1842 before winning election to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1843. Smith remained there until 1849, although he returned in 1857 for a single term. During the Civil War, he served as a paymaster with the rank of major.

Biographical Directory of the American Congress 1774-1996 (Alexandria, VA: CQ Staff Directories, 1997), 1847; The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men: Illinois Volume (Chicago: American Biographical, 1876), 447-48.