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Joseph Lee Smith

May 28, 1776
May 25, 1846
Home Town:
New Britain, CT
Later Residences:
St. Augustine, FL
Frances Kirby Smith (August 25, 1804)
Biographical Notes:
Joseph Lee Smith was the son of Elnathan and Chloe (Lee) Smith. His father was a wealthy merchant in New Britain, CT. After attending the Litchfield Law School, Smith worked as a lawyer in Litchfield, CT. His wife was the daughter of Major Ephriam Kirby of Litchfield, CT.

In 1807, Smith was the principal speaker at a festival in Litchfield. During the War of 1812, he had an active military career. He became a Major of the 25th Infantry on May 12, 1812 and on March 12, 1813 became the Lieutenant Colonel of the 24th Regiment. His regiment later disbanded on June 1, 1821.

In 1821, Smith moved by himself to St. Augustine, FL (the territory had become a U.S. possession in 1819). He then returned to Connecticut for his family in 1822 and brought them with him to Florida. The 1840 census lists enslaved people in his household. Smith died in St. Augustine in 1846.
Additional Notes:
His son, General Edmund Kirby-Smith, was the last Confederate General to surrender after the Civil War ended and was the last surviving general on either side of the Civil War.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
He attended Yale College.

Profession / Service
Lawyer; Military; Political Office
Federal Posts:
Judge for the U.S. Eastern District of the FL Territory (FL Territory) 1821
Judge of the U.S. Superior Court in the FL Territory (FL Territory) 1822-1827
U.S. Representative Delegate (FL Territory) 1838-1842

help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Litchfield County Bar Association Records, 1800, Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library.

Catalogue of the Litchfield Law School (Hartford, CT: Press of Case, Tiffany, and Company, 1849), 4.
Secondary Sources:
Dwight, Melatiah Everett, "The Kirbys of New England : a history of the descendants of John Kirby of Middletown, Conn. and of Joseph Kirby of Hartford, Conn., and of Richard Kirby of Sandwich, Mass. together with genealogies of the Burgis, White and Maclaren families, and the ancestry of John Drake, of Windsor, Conn," 1898. Accessed at April 16, 2024

Hale Collection, Surname index of marriages SMITH - SQUIRE, Film # 007593361, Accessed via Family Search at April 16, 2024

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