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Henry D. Smith

Member From: 1879 - 1880

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  • Bio: Henry D. Smith represented Greensville and Sussex Counties in the House of Delegates. Born into slavery, he likely became free as a result of the American Civil War (1861–1865). He won election in 1870 as a justice of the peace for Belfield township in Greensville County. Elected in 1879 to represent Greensville and Sussex Counties for a two-year term in the assembly, he joined the majority in electing Readjuster Party leader William Mahone to the United States Senate. Appointed the lowest-ranking member of the Committees on Agriculture and Mining and on Immigration, Smith presented an unsuccessful bill to prohibit the sale of cotton between certain hours. He voted to take the first step to repeal the poll tax and voted to reduce the interest rate and amount of principal to be paid on the public debt. A carpenter and farmer, Smith received a license from the county in 1872 to sell alcohol at his storehouse. In the 1870s he acquired hundreds of acres of land where he raised corn and later operated a sawmill and a cotton gin. He died by December 2, 1901, when his widow was appointed administrator of his estate.
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1879-1880 Greensville and Sussex Republican Agriculture and Mining

*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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