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Colonel James Smith


James Smith (September 17, 1719–July 11, 1806), was an Irish/American lawyer and a signer to the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of Pennsylvania.

He was born in Ireland; his family immigrated to Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1729.  Smith attended the Philadelphia Academy.  He studied law at the office of his brother George and was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania, initially practicing near Shippensburg, and later near York.  He became captain of the militia there. He was appointed to the provincial convention in Philadelphia in 1775, to the state constitutional convention in 1776, and was elected to the Continental Congress. He was re-elected to Congress in 1785 but declined to attend because of his advanced age. The surname Smith is probably anglicized from the Irish surname McGowan.  

Smith died on July 11, 1806, and is buried in York, Pennsylvania, First Presbyterian Churchyard.

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