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Edward Delafield Smith

New York

Edward Delafield Smith was born in Rochester, New York on May 8, 1826 and died in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, April 13, 1878. He graduated from New York University in 1846 and was the class poet, even then considered a writer and speaker. He undertook the study of law and was admitted to the bar in 1848. He began law practice in 1849 in New York City and entered a partnership with Smith Clift, and later with Isaac P. Martin and Augustus F. Smith, his brother. Smith was named United States District Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1861, a position in which he served for five years. From 1871 until 1875, Smith was corporation counsel for the city of New York. Smith was also a professor in the law department of New York University. He died at Shrewsbury, New Jersey on April 13, 1878.

[Sources: James Grant Wilson & John Fiske (eds.), Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (Detroit: Gale Research, 1968)(1888-1889; 11 The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 519 (New York: James T. white & Co., 1901]

"He was very successful in prosecuting cases for the government, among them that of the capitalist, Kohnstamm; Andrews, the leader of the New York rioters; the Parkhill murderers, and in many prosecutions for the suppression of the slave trade." [National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, at 519]

New York Times


E. Delafield Smith, Destiny; a poem: pronounced before the associate chapters of the Delta phi, on Monday evening, June 29th, 1846 (New York: J. A. Fraetas, Printer, 1846) [online text]

______________, Oratory, a poem delivered before the Eucleian and Philomathean Societies of the University of New York, on Monday evening, June 28, 1852 (New York: Charles Scribner, 1852)


E. Delafield Smith, Brief Appeals for the Loyal Cause (New York: John W. Amerman, printer, 1863)

______________, The Peterhoff (New York: J.W. Amerman, printer, 1863) [online text]


Reports of Cases argued and determined in the Court of common pleas for the city and county of New York, with notes, references, and an index (New York: J. R. Halsted, 1855-59)(4 vols.)