Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Critical and Biographical Notice
William Moore Smith (1759–1821)
 
SMITH was the eldest son of the Rev. William Smith, D. D. the first Provost of the Philadelphia College. He was born in Philadelphia, on the first of June, 1759, and was educated at the college in that city, where he was graduated with distinction at an early age. On leaving college he studied law, and continued the practice of this profession with honor and profit until the close of the last century, when he received an agency for the settlement of British claims in America, included within the sixth article of Jay’s treaty. The adjustment of his agency obliged him to make a voyage to England in 1803, and on his return to his native country the following year, he retired from business to a country residence near Philadelphia, where he continued to reside until his death, which occurred on the 12th of March, 1821. He was a polished scholar, and retained his classical knowledge until the time of his death. In his retirement he read much, and his mind was literally a storehouse of learning. Possessed of a powerful memory, he was a living index to what had passed and still was passing in the world, and yet the writings of his early days alone entitle him to notice here, as he was not ambitious of literary distinction. In 1785, he published a small volume of poems, which was republished in London the following year. He wrote much on the politics of the times, but these papers have passed into oblivion, with the incidents which gave them birth and interest.  1
 
 
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