John Quincy Smith

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John Quincy Smith
John Quincy Smith from findagrave.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's third district
In office
March 4, 1873 – March 3, 1875
Preceded by Lewis D. Campbell
Succeeded by John S. Savage
Commissioner of Indian Affairs
In office
November 12, 1875 – September 27, 1877
Preceded by Edward Parmelee Smith
Succeeded by Ezra A. Hayt
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 5th district
In office
January 2, 1860 – January 5, 1862
Preceded by James J. Winans
Succeeded by Mills Gardner
In office
January 1, 1872 – January 4, 1874
Preceded by Moses D. Gatch
Succeeded by Samuel N. Yeoman
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the Clinton County district
In office
January 6, 1862 – January 3, 1864
Preceded by Bebee Truesdale
Succeeded by Stephen Evans
Personal details
Born (1824-11-05)November 5, 1824
Waynesville, Ohio
Died December 30, 1901(1901-12-30) (aged 77)
Clinton County, Ohio
Resting place Miami Cemetery, Waynesville
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lydia Emeline Evans
Children six
Alma mater Miami University

John Quincy Smith (November 5, 1824 – December 30, 1901) was a farmer, politician and legislator from Ohio, USA.

Life and career

John Q. Smith was born to Thomas Edward Smith (1783–1841) and Mary Kennedy Whitehill (1788–1849), natives of Virginia, on their Warren County, Ohio, farm near Waynesville. A voracious reader, his early schooling was limited because of his duties on the family farm, but his father believed in the advantages of an education, so that John Quincy was able to spend a short time at Miami University.

In July 1852, Smith married Lydia Emeline Evans, a native of Warren county. They had six children, one of whom died in childhood. In 1854, he relocated his young family to Clinton County, Ohio.

He was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1859 as a Republican. In Columbus, during the legislative sessions, Smith's roommate was James A. Garfield, who was just starting out on his public career, and other intimate acquaintances were John Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant. In 1861, he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives and served two years. In 1870, he was elected as a member of the Ohio State Board of Equalization. He was again elected State Senator in 1871.

In 1872, Smith was elected to Congress from Ohio's Third Congressional District. In 1874, he was renominated for Congress, but defeated by John S. Savage.

Smith was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the Grant Administration on December 11, 1875.[1] His administration saw several controversies, including the Great Sioux War of 1876-77 (including the Battle of the Little Bighorn), the removal of the Ponca Indians to Indian Territory and charges of corruption against his chief clerk, Samuel Galpin. He was removed from office on September 27, 1877.[2]

President Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Smith as United States consul general to Montreal, Canada, serving from 1878 until he resigned in 1882.

He remained an ardent Republican until President Grover Cleveland's first administration, when he allied himself with the Democratic party because of his views on tariff reform, and thereafter he remained a Democrat. His published articles on tariff in the New York Evening Post attracted wide attention throughout the country and were extensively quoted by the press and on the stump.

Smith left public life and retired to his farm, “Sycamores”, in Oakland where he died. He is buried in Miami Cemetery, Waynesville, Ohio.


  1. Poore 1878 : 235
  2. Edward E. Hill, "John Q. Smith, 1875-77", in Robert M. Kvasnicka and Herman J. Viola (eds.), The Commissioners of Indian Affairs from 1824 to 1977, pp. 149-153.


External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Lewis D. Campbell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 3rd congressional district

1873 - 1875
Succeeded by
John S. Savage