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Dabney Norman Smith

Member From: 1881 - 1882

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  • Birth Date: 1846 Birth Place:Charlotte County, Virginia
  • Death Date: August 27, 1920
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Bettie Jordan (m. February 25, 1885)
  • Children: four daughters and one son
  • Religion: Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Education:
  • Military Service:
  • Occupation/Profession: Farmer and United States Post Office
  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
    Encyclopedia Virginia Biography
  • Bio: Dabney N. Smith, born probably into slavery in Charlotte County, was a member of the House of Delegates from 1882 to 1883. He became interested in politics around 1878 and attended the March 1881 convention of African American Republicans in Petersburg when they agreed to join with the biracial Readjuster Party. Smith won the Republican Party nomination for the county’s seat in the House of Delegates in September 1881, and in November he defeated a white Democrat. He served in the important reform session of 1881–1882, where he unsuccessfully introduced motions to abolish petty larceny conviction as a disqualification from voting and another from Norfolk County residents for a local option liquor law. He lost his bid for reelection in November 1883. Smith remained active in local politics and in 1887 addressed African American voters in Charlotte County prior to an election. On the death of Smith’s father in March 1892, he and two of his brothers inherited their father’s property in Smithville. Smith resided on his farm for the remainder of his life. Smith died at his home in Charlotte County on August 27, 1920, and was buried on his farm.
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1881-1882 Charlotte Republican Asylums and Prisons
Chesapeake and Its Tributaries
Executive Expenditures

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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