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Jeremiah Smith (November 29, 1759 – September 21, 1842) was an American lawyer, jurist and politician from Exeter, New Hampshire.

Jeremiah Smith
6th Governor of New Hampshire
In office
June 8, 1809 – June 5, 1810
Preceded byJohn Langdon
Succeeded byJohn Langdon
Judge of the United States Circuit Court for the First Circuit
In office
February 20, 1801 – July 1, 1802
Appointed byJohn Adams
Preceded bySeat established
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Hampshire's at-large district
In office
March 4, 1793 – July 26, 1797
Preceded byAbiel Foster
Succeeded byPeleg Sprague
Personal details
Born(1759-11-29)November 29, 1759
Peterborough, Province of New Hampshire, British America
DiedSeptember 21, 1842(1842-09-21) (aged 82)
Exeter, New Hampshire, U.S.
Resting placeWinter Street Burial Ground, Exeter, New Hampshire
Political partyFederalist
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Ross
Elizabeth Hale
EducationHarvard University
Rutgers University, New Brunswick (BA)

Born in Peterborough in the Province of New Hampshire, Smith attended Harvard University before graduating from Queens College in New Brunswick, New Jersey (now Rutgers University) in 1780. He served in the Continental Army, and read law to enter the bar in 1786. He was in private practice in Peterborough from 1786 to 1796. He was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1798 to 1799, and the United States House of Representatives from 1791 to 1797. He was United States Attorney for the District of New Hampshire from 1797 to 1800. He was a probate judge of Rockingham County, New Hampshire from 1800 to 1801.

On February 18, 1801, Smith was nominated by President John Adams to a new seat as a federal judge on the United States circuit court for the First Circuit, created by 2 Stat. 89. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 20, 1801, and received his commission the same day. Smith's federal judicial service was terminated on July 1, 1802, due to abolition of the court. He then became Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of New Hampshire, and served from 1802 to 1809.

Smith was elected Governor of New Hampshire in 1809, defeating incumbent Governor John Langdon by only 319 votes. However, Langdon defeated Smith in the following election, in 1810. Smith returned to the private practice of law from 1810 until 1813, when he again became Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of New Hampshire, this time until 1816, when he was removed by the elimination of the court by the legislature.[1] He again returned to private practice New Hampshire from 1816 to 1820.

Smith was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1814.[2] He was a trustee and the treasurer at Phillips Exeter Academy from 1828 to 1842, and served as the president of trustees from 1830 to 1842. Jeremiah Smith Hall at the academy is named for him.

Smith died in 1842 in Dover, New Hampshire, and is buried at the Winter Street Cemetery in Exeter.


  1. ^ See John H. Morrison, Life of the Honorable Jeremiah Smith, Little & Brown, 1845.
  2. ^ American Antiquarian Society Members Directory


  • "Jeremiah Smith". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Jeremiah Smith at the Biographical Directory of Federal Judges, a public domain publication of the Federal Judicial Center.

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