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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIndiana

Caleb Blood SMITH

(1808-1864)

SMITH, Caleb Blood, a Representative from Indiana; born in Boston, Mass., April 16, 1808; moved with his parents to Ohio in 1814; attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1825-1826; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1828 and commenced practice in Connersville, Fayette County, Ind.; founded and edited the Indiana Sentinel in 1832; member of the State house of representatives 1833-1837, 1840, and 1841, and served as speaker in 1836; unsuccessful candidate for the Twenty-seventh Congress in 1841; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1849); chairman, Committee on Territories (Thirtieth Congress); appointed by President Zachary Taylor a member of the board to investigate claims of American citizens against Mexico; moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and practiced his profession; member of the peace convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; appointed Secretary of the Interior in the Cabinet of President Lincoln and served from March 5, 1861, to January 1, 1863, when he resigned to become judge of the United States District Court for the District of Indiana, in which capacity he served until his death in Indianapolis, Marion County, Ind., January 7, 1864; interment in the City Cemetery, Connersville, Ind.

Bibliography

Bochin, Hal W. “Caleb B. Smith’s Opposition to the Mexican War.” Indiana Magazine of History 69 (June 1973): 95-114; Thomas, Richard J. “Caleb Blood Smith: Whig Orator and Politician Lincoln’s Secretary of Interior.” Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1969.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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