William Jay Smith (Tennessee politician)

William Jay Smith ( * September 24, 1823 in Birmingham, United Kingdom, † 29 November 1913 in Memphis, Tennessee ) was an American politician. Between 1869 and 1871 he represented the state of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Even in his youth came William Smith in the United States, where he settled in Orange County in upstate New York. There he attended the public schools; after which he served an apprenticeship in the printing trade. In 1846 he moved to Tennessee. During the Mexican-American War, he served in a regiment of Tennessee. After the war he moved to the Hardeman County, where he dealt with the gardening. During the Civil War, Smith served 1861-1865 in the army of the Union. In 1865 he was part of a commission for the revision of the Constitution of Tennessee. Politically, he was a member of the Republican Party. In the years 1865 to 1867 Smith sat as an MP in the House of Representatives from Tennessee. From 1867-1869 and again 1885-1887 he was a member of the State Senate.

In the congressional elections of 1868, Smith was the eighth electoral district of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where he became the successor of David Alexander Nunn on March 4, 1869. Since he has not been confirmed in 1870, he was able to complete only one term in Congress until March 3, 1871. At this time there the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was adopted. From 1871 to 1883 William Smith led the Port Authority of Memphis. Later, he was also active in the real estate business and the banking industry. In 1876 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cincinnati, was nominated at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Candidate. He died on 29 November 1913 at the age of 90 in Memphis.