Friday, January 25, 2008

Rev. D. D. Smith (1807-1878)

The Rev D.D. Smith (Daniel Drowne Smith) seems to be an interesting person in his own right, but he is overshadowed by his more famous father and brother; both of whom were also preachers who burned brightly in the Universalist skies before moving elsewhere.

His father, Elias Smith, was a free will Baptist minister turned Christian minister. There is a biography of his life available (which I admit to not having read), the Perfect Law of Liberty.
His brother Matthew Hale Smith is best known for being an Universalist minister turned anti-Universalist book writer. These books are available on Google Books.

D.D. Smith was born December 16, 1807 in Portsmouth , NH; and died on March 17, 1878 in Brooklyn NY. He had two careers, first as an Universalist minister; then as a homeopathic medical doctor.

He preached at various Massachusetts and Maine locations from the late 1820s to December 1838. From That date to April 1841, he preached at Gloucester. Something happened to lead him to resign and preach in Richmond, Virginia. The sources that I've read don't spell it out, so I can't even guess as to what happened. But it couldn't have been too bad, as
in 1843 or 44, he returned to lead a new "Independent Universalist Society" in Gloucester, preaching there until the summer of 1848, when he left the ministry.

His medical career was in New York State; and he taught at the Homeopathic Medical College in New York for nine years. Upon his death in 1878, he was a member of Henry Ward Beecher's PLYMOUTH CHURCH in Brooklyn.

He was involved with several newspapers, supossibly the UNIVERSALIST in it's first year (he's not mentioned in my bound volume however), and then changed the name to UNIVERSALIST AND LADIES REPOSITORY in 1834-1835. He edited the Richmond paper CHRISTIAN WARRIOR, a weekly from April 1842 to his removal to the north.
Books include
1834 REPORT OF A PUBLIC DISCUSSION (a debate with A. Ballou. Smith was the Ultra-Universalist; Ballou the restoriationist)

In his anti-Universalist books, his brother states that D.D. stated that he was only in the ministry because it paid so well. Now if there is one thing that gives us pause here in the 21st century, that would be it. Ministry pays well?

addition: 'THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY, lists the middle name as Drown, and that he was born in June 1797. The above name and date are from his obituary.

(corrected January 26, 2008)

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