Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Creator
Smith, Samuel Emerson, 1788-1860
Title
Samuel E. Smith papers
ID
M167
Date [inclusive]
1786-1880
Extent
0.6 linear feet
Language
Abstract
The collection contains letters (1810-1880 and undated), many relating to the northeast boundary dispute; documents (1786-1880); financial records (1830-1880); and other ephemeral material.

Preferred Citation

Samuel E. Smith Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.


Biographical/Historical Note

Samuel Emerson Smith was born in Hollis, New Hampshire, on March 12, 1788, the seventh child of Manasseh Smith, originally of Leominster, Massachusetts, and Hannah Emerson of Hollis. He attended Groton Academy, and was graduated from Harvard College in 1808. He studied law with Samuel Dana of Groton, Massachusetts, and with his brothers Manasseh and Joseph, and was admitted to the bar in 1812.

Smith entered the practice of law in Wiscasset, Maine, and became interested in politics. He served as a representative to the Massachusetts General Court (1819) and in the Maine legislature (1820-1821). He was appointed chief justice of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas of the Second District (1821) and, upon the reorganization of the court system, became an associate judge of its replacement court (1822-1830).

Smith was elected governor of Maine in 1832. He served three terms and oversaw the move of the state capitol from Portland to Augusta (1832). During his administration issues relating to the controversy over the northeast boundary of the United States (principally the border between Maine and New Brunswick) came to a head. The issue was not settled until 1842, when the current boundary was agreed upon. Soon after leaving office, Smith was reappointed to the Court of Common Pleas (1835) from which he retired in 1837.

While governor, Smith was trustee ex-officio of Bowdoin (1831-1834). He married Louisa Sophia Fuller in 1832 and had nine sons. Smith died at Wiscasset, Maine, on March 3, 1860.


Scope and Content

The collection contains letters (1810-1880 and undated), documents (1786-1880), financial records (1830-1880), and other ephemeral material.

The letters include many relating to the northeast boundary dispute, written to or by principals such as Sir Archibald Campbell, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick; John G. Deane of Ellsworth, Maine; Levi Lincoln, Governor of Massachusetts; Edward Kavanagh, who negotiated the settlement; William Pitt Preble, who had been instrumental in achieving the separation of Maine and Massachusetts; and Ashur Ware, Portland judge.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

General Note

Finding aid available online; folder level control.

Unpublished chronological lists of correspondents available in library; item level control.


Collection Inventory

 M167.1 Letters, 1810-1880, n.d.   0.4 linear feet

Series Description:

Letters to and from members of the Smith family and prominent individuals from Maine, Massachusetts and New Brunswick. Much of the correspondence from 1831-1832 relates to the northeast boundary controversy; correspondents on this issue include Sir Archibald Campbell, John G. Deane, Edward Kavanagh, Levi Lincoln, William Pitt Preble and Ashur Ware. Other prolific correspondents include John Burnham of Orlando; A.H. Fiske, Smith's attorney; John J. Spears, Smith's broker; and several members of the Fuller and Smith families.

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

General Note:

Unpublished chronological and alphabetical lists of correspondents available in library; item level control.

Box Folder
1 1-46

1810-1880, n.d. 


 M167.2 Documents, Financial Records and Ephemera, 1786-1880, n.d.   0.2 linear feet

Series Description:

Materials include court docket of Daniel Emerson, promisory notes, memoranda, deeds, financial statements, biographical information, and ephemera.

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder
2 1

Court Docket of Daniel Emerson et al. November 20, 1786 to July 20, 1789 

2 2

Documents: 1808-1828 

2 3

Documents: 1831-1850 

2 4

Documents: 1860-1880, n.d. 

2 5

Ephemera 

2 6

Financial statements, 1830's-40's 

2 7

Financial statements, 1840's-70's plus one undated 

2 8

Misc. Biographical Information