• Smith Family Pennsylvania Property Ownership In Dispute

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    4 pp, 7 ¾ x 9 ¾, incomplete with no date but early 19th century. A fascinating land dispute document involving the Pennsylvania Smith family, specifically Dennis A. Smith and William Rudolph Smith, the latter playing a major role in the early development of Wisconsin.


    In small part, “...That in the fall of 1816 the said Wm Smith heard by accident that the real estate of the above defendant was advertised for sale by the sheriff of Huntingdon County, in consequence of which he started immediately and arrived before the day of the sale, and on that day he paid the Plaintiff the sum of 2,000 dollars and took an assignment of his bond and assignment of the judgment upon the record...Up for sale was the house and two lots lately struck off to the said Wm Smith & an adjoining stable lot, always occupied as one property since the house was built.


    “...That the whole estate of the said William Moore Smith in the County of Philadelphia is legally bound to the above Plaintiff or his Representatives for the securing of the debt of the balance yet remaining unpaid – whether the said W.M. Smith was induced to become so bound by the supposition of the truth or the suggestion of things not true, whether the very large loan made by the above Plaintiff to the above defendant was made in the credit of the acceptance of a draft drawn by the above defendant on the said Wm M. Smith...who to this moment never has had any communication with the above Plaintiff either by message, letter or conversation and who never yet to his knowledge has seen him or whether some more monied person...has volunteered their additional security...The above Plaintiff paid every farthing of his loan to the above defendant...”


    WILLIAM RUDOLPH SMITH (August 31, 1787 – August 22, 1868) was an American lawyer, politician and historian from Pennsylvania who served as the 5th Attorney General of Wisconsin, the first President of the Wisconsin Historical Society and the first Adjutant General of Wisconsin. He was one of the early developers of Wisconsin Territory. Smith was also a Federalist member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Senate and served for many years in the Pennsylvania Militia, including as Colonel of the 62nd Pennsylvania Reserves in the War of 1812. He led the regiment in support of the Erie Campaign and the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. He was among the defenders at the Battle of Baltimore, witnessed the disastrous Battle of Bladensburg and the subsequent burning of Washington, DC. He rose to the rank of Major General. In 1837, Smith was appointed commissioner for the United States, along with Wisconsin Territory Gov. Henry Dodge, to negotiate with the Chippewa to purchase their lands in the forests around the Upper Mississippi River.  His negotiations with the Chippewa ultimately resulted in a treaty, which enabled the United States to acquire most of the territory of modern-day Minnesota.


    Folds. Short edge tears repaired with archival tape.


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