Francis Hopkinson Smith (1838 – 1915)
Born in Baltimore in 1838 to a descendant of Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Francis Hopkinson Smith was an esteemed engineer, artist, and writer of the 19th century. Upon the conclusion of the Civil War, Smith moved to New York to work at a foundry. After disagreeing with the owner, he and his business partner, James Symington, went into engineering. His constructions include the Block Island breakwater; the sea wall at Tompkinsville, Staten Island; the foundation for the Statue of Liberty; and the Race Rock Lighthouse. While he worked as an engineer, Smith painted in his spare time and befriended many young artists in the city. He was a member of the New York Tile Club and illustrated several books, including two works of travel sketches. With the success of his publications, Smith began to devote more time to his artistry. At age 50, he compiled a series of short stories for publication and shortly after released his first work of fiction, Colonel Carter of Cartersville.
Photo Source: James E. Purdy