Thomas Smith family papers

Thomas Smith family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Creator: Smith, Thomas, 1745-1809
Title: Thomas Smith family papers
Dates: Bulk, 1793-1810
Dates: 1767-1912
Quantity: 1.25 Linear feet (1 oversize box and 8 folders)
Coll. Number: ms1055

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Smith was born in Scotland in 1745 and later attended the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Afterwards, he immigrated to the United States, settling in Pennyslvania in 1769. He became a deputy surveyor the same year and studed law in the colonies. After many other civil service positions, he served in the Revolutionary Army as a deputy colonel in the militia. He was also a delegate to the Pennyslvania state constitutional convention in 1776. Later, Smith was a member of the state house of representatives 1776-1780, a member of the Continental Congress 1781-1782, a judge of the court of common pleas in 1791, and a judge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court 1794-1809. He died in March of 1809 and was interred in Christ Churchyard in Pennyslvania.

Scope and Content Note

This collection includes legal documents related to Letitia Vandexen (sic) Smith, Thomas Smith and Frances Sophia Smith. The Thomas Smith letterbook mainly consists of correspondence between members of the Thomas Smith family from 1767-1841. The earliest letters (1767 and 1784) are from Smith to his mother Elizabeth Lawrence in Aberdeenshire, England. A group of 21 letters between Smith and his cousin Dr. Peter Smith of Aberdeenshire discuss the American lifestyle, medical schools and practices, and the judicial system. Another group of letters to Judge Jasper Yeates and Governor Thomas Mifflin refer to legal decisions and court procedures. Other correspondents include Dr. Philip Physick and Smith's brother Charles of London, England. Also included in the letterbook are two proclamations awarding judgeships to Smith, legal documents pertaining to the settlement of Smith's estate (1816), and documents relating to land sales or mortgaged property (1826 and 1841). Series 2 contains typescripts of letters between Thomas Smith and soon-to-be U.S. President George Washington in 1785-1786, in which Smith was acting as Washington's attorney for some land suits in Philadelphia. The typescripts were made by Burton Alva Konkle in 1902. Finally, Series 3. contains letters between Thomas Smith scholar Burton Alva Konkle and Wymberly Jones De Renne regarding the Thomas Smith collection.


Arranged into three series: Series 1. Thomas Smith papers; Series 2. George Washington letters; Series 3. Burton Alva Konkle letters.

Index Terms

Authors, American--Georgia--Savannah--Correspondence.
Book collectors--Georgia--Savannah--Correspondence.
Court administration--United States.
De Renne, Wymberley Jones, 1853-1916
Generals--United States--Correspondence.
Humrich, Charles F.
Konkle, Burton Alva, 1861-1944
Letter books.
Medicine--Study and teaching--United States.
Mifflin, Thomas, 1744-1800
Physick, Philip Syng, 1768-1837
Presidents--United States--Correspondence.
Smith, Charles, fl. 1767-1800
Smith, Peter, fl. 1767-1800
United States--Politics and government--1789-1815.
United States--Social life and customs--18th century.
United States--Social life and customs--19th century.
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Yeates, Jasper, 1745-1817

General Notes

Cataloged as part of the Georgia Archives and Manuscripts Automated Access Project: A Special Collections Gateway Program of the University Center in Georgia.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Thomas Smith family papers, ms 1055. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries.

Processing Information note

The Thomas Smith letters to George Washington and the Konkle letters to Wymberly Jones De Renne were formerly collections 1055a and 1055b, respectively. They were added to this collection in 2011.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


1. Thomas Smith papers

11 The Wills of Letitia Vandexen (sic) Smith, Thomas Smith and Frances Sophia Smith, October 29, 1832
OS BoxItem
11Thomas Smith Letterbook, 1767-1843
Account of the last days and death of Mrs. Letitia Van Deren Smith with memorandum enclosed., April 16, 1841
Mrs. (Thomas) Smith died March 8, 1811 and was buried March 9, 1811.
Letter written by Miss Williamina Smith describing her mother's death, Tuesday, March 19th., 1811
Last wishes of Mrs. Letitia Van Deren Smith., November 11, 1810
Mortgage for $1,000.00 given by Jacob Beer to George W. Smith in trust for heirs of Thomas Smith, May 13, 1826
Mortgage for $181.29 given by Jacob Beer to George W. Smith in trust for heirs of Thomas Smith, May 13, 1826
Letter from Thomas Smith to his wife speaking of his legal engagement, April 21, 1793
Agreement between George Washington Smith, Eliza Smith Jones, Williamina E. Smith, Rebecca Smith, Mary Campbell Stewart and Juliana Smith, by their attorney, Williamina E. Smith, of the first part, and J. A. McKennan, of the other part, as to sale of lands., October 30, 1841
This lists the names of the children of Thomas and Letitia Smith.
Second Agreement between children of Thomas Smith and J. A. McKenna as to tracts of land, October 30, 1841
Affidavit of Edw. Burd., March 10, 1830
Document shows that Thomas Smith et al were executors of John Vanderen's estate; that Chas. Vanderen, one of the three executors, survived the other two (Thomas Smith and J. Mather); that Chas. Vanderen made a will to certain parts of his realty to the children of Thomas Smith and Letitia, the wife: Eliza, Maria, Williamina E., Juliana, Letitia, rebecca, Frances Sophia, and Geo. Washington Smith. Thomas Smith's wife Letitia was the daughter of John and Susanna Vanderen.
Ratified copy of the settlement of the estate of Thomas Smith, May 6, 1816

2. Thomas Smith letters to George Washington, 1785-1786, 1902

12George Washington letters (originals date 1785-1786) transcripts, June 7, 1902
Formerly cataloged as collection MS 1055a. Combined with MS1055 in January 2012.

3. Burton Alva Konkle letters concerning the Thomas Smith collection, 1902-1906

13-8Burton A. Konkle letters to Wymberly Jones De Renne, 1902-1911