From the Richmond Dispatch, 4/23/1891, p. 1, c. 3

He Passes Away Peacefully Among His Children After a Short Illness – Brief Sketch of the Deceased.

Dr. Edwin Harvie Smith, of Dinwiddie county, died at the residence of his son, Mr. E. H. Smith, No. 1115 east Clay street, last night at twenty minutes after 10 o’clock.

Dr. Smith was born in Williamsburg, Va., October, 31, 1813, and was consequently in his seventy-eighth year. His father was Captain John Hill Smith and was commander of the Williamsburg Troop in the war of 1812, and was for fifteen years a member of the Governor’s council.

Colonel Larkin Smith, grandfather of deceased, served in the Revolution and was afterwards Speaker of the House of Delegates.

The deceased received a good common-school education at Bates’s High School in Hanover, and in 1835, when only twenty-one years of age, graduated in medicine at the University of Virginia in the exceedingly short time of one session. Among his fellow-students at the latter institution were the late Dr. David S. Tucker and Professor Cabell, president of the National Board of Health.


Immediately upon his graduation Dr. Smith came to this city and in a very few years built up one of the finest practices ever attained by a young physician in the same length of time. In 1838 his father removed to Dinwiddie accompanied by the son, who pursued his profession in that county until 1861.

At the beginning of hostilities Dr. Smith was appointed surgeon of the Third division of Chimborazo Hospital, a position which he filled during the entire war.

Peace being restored the Doctor once more returned to the practice of medicine, at which he continued for several years until appointed assessor of internal revenue by President Grant, in which office he continued until it was abolished.


Returning to Dinwiddie, Dr. Smith was twice elected to represent that county in the Legislature.

President Hayes appointed him Consul to Naples, where he remained under Garfield’s and a portion of Arthur’s Administration – in all three years. Here he contracted the dread “Roman-fever,” which compelled him to relinquish his otherwise congenial office.

After his return from Italy the Doctor resided at his home in Dinwiddie, spending his winter in Richmond and Washington, and it was at the house of his son, Edward H. Smith, Esq., in this city, that he peacefully breathed his last.


There existed between General Grant and the deceased a warm personal friendship, due mainly to the fact that the General and Colonel Larkin Smith, a first cousin of the Doctor’s, were at West Point together.

Dr. Charles Henry Smith, another cousin, was Assistant Surgeon-General of the Confederacy.

A brother of the deceased, Charles Maurice Smith, was editor of the Richmond Whig for several years.

He leaves two sisters, Mr. Charles Negus, wife of Judge Negus, of Iowa, and Mrs. Gravatt, of Port Royal, Va.


Dr. Smith was twice married, his first wife being a Miss Briggs, by whom he had one son, Dr. David B. Smith, assistant surgeon in the Confederate service, who died several years ago.

His second wife was Miss Annie Gilliam Anderson, of Chesterfield, who died in 1879. The surviving children of this marriage are Mr. Edward H. Smith, ex-Congressman John Ambler Smith, and Mr. Charles Maurice Smith, of Washington, all three of whom were with their father for several days prior to his death.

Up to midnight the arrangements for the funeral had not been made.

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