John Smith

From Ohio History Central

John Smith was a clergyman and political leader in the early years of Ohio statehood.

Smith was born in Virginia around 1735. A Baptist minister, Smith had moved from Virginia to the Northwest Territory by the 1790's. He went into politics, and served first in the legislature of the Northwest Territory. He participated in the Ohio Constitutional Convention of 1802 and became one of Ohio's first two United States Senators in 1803. Smith held this position until 1808, when he resigned due to his involvement with Aaron Burr. Smith was indicted in 1807 for assisting Burr in an alleged plot to break away a portion of the United States to form a new country. Smith was a close friend of Burr, but he was not actively involved in Burr's scheme. Burr was found innocent of treason, and all charges were then dropped against Smith. Smith's political reputation, however, was destroyed. Smith moved from Ohio to Louisiana, where he died on July 30, 1824.

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