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James T. Smith Papers

Identifier: 2014-0197

Scope and Contents

The emphasis of the collection is documentation of the responsibilities Smith carried out during his military career, 1862-1870. Correspondence, reports, inventories and rosters comprise the majority of the collection. There is nothing in the collection regarding Mr. Smith's newspaper career or his activities in Colorado.


  • Creation: 1864-1925


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


James T. Smith was born in Rosscommon, Ireland, on 4 May 1846. As a young boy, he and his parents emigrated to America and settled in Hartford, Connecticut. A member of the 1st Regiment of Volunteers, he acted as Drill Master and Color Sargent at the outbreak of the Civil War. Before the War's end he had been promoted to Captain and served with the 1st Louisiana Volunteers, the 18th U. S. Infantry and the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Properties until his discharge in Mary 1870. Immediately following the end of his army career, Smith traveled west to Colorado.

A talented journalist, Smith was the associate eidtor of the Golden Transcript at the recommendation of William N. Byers. Byers founded the Rocky Mountain News. Serving on the Golden City Council, Smith was instrumental in establishing the City's first fire department in 1872. As mining flourished, he also recognized the need for the establishment of a technical educational institution dedicated to that industry. A result of this realization was the founding of the Colorado School of Mines, on whose Board Smith served from 1876 until 1921.

Smith moved from Golden to Denver in 1877, becoming the associate editor of the Rocky Mountain News and in 1878 was promoted to managing editor. Smith remained in this position, with the exception of two years as the City Auditor (1891-1893) and a brief stint as city editor of the Denver Times, for the next fifty years. During his tenure as auditor, Smith was active in the transfer of City Park from the State of Colorado to the city, the organization of the first paid fire department in Denver and financial activities that led to the city's recognition as the "Model American City Government." In 1876, Smith was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Secretary of State.

Mr. Smith died at the age of 79 on 1 December 1925.


7 Linear Feet (1 trunk containing correspondence, publications, reports and pehemeral materials pertaining to the career of Captain James T. Smith.)

Language of Materials



The collection documents the career of James T. Smith of Connecticut,


The collection is arranged in six topical series: Series I: Personal Papers (1865-1926) Series II: 1st Louisiana Volunteers (undated, 1862-1865) Series III: 18th U.S. Infantry (1867, 1870) contains account records but little else documenting his position with this military unit. Series IV: Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (undated, 1864-1866) documents Smith's work as a Customs Inspector with the Bureau involved with the administration and management of plantations in the area of New Orleans, LA. Series V: Orders (1863-1865) Series VI: Publications (1824-1868) includes military manuals and guides appropriate for an officer during the American Civil War.

Provenance and Acquisition

The collection was donated in December 2014.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection has been digitized, with the exception of the publications, and is available in the Library digital repository.

James T. Smith Papers
Archives & Special Collections staff
2015 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US