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Francis Hopkinson Smith Edit Profile

artist , Engineer , author

Francis Hopkinson Smith was a United States author, artist and engineer. He built the foundation for the Statue of Liberty, wrote many famous stories and received awards for his paintings.


Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on the 23rd of October 1838, a descendant of Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.


He graduated from the Boys' Latin School of Maryland.


Smith became a contractor in New York City and did much work for the federal government, including the stone ice-breaker at Bridgeport, Connecticut, the jetties at the mouth of the Connecticut River, the foundation for the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, the Race Rock Lighthouse (southwest of Fishers Island, New York) and many life-saving stations. His vacations were spent sketching in the White Mountains, in Cuba and in Mexico. He also visited and sketched in Venice, Constantinople and the Netherlands.

His first popular book was Col. Carter of Cartersville (1891). His 1896 novel Tom Grogan and 1898 novel Caleb West were each the best selling book in the United States in the year of their release.


  • He illustrated and published numerous travelogues, including:

    Old Lines in New Black and White (1885);

    Well-Worn Roads (1886);

    A White Umbrella in Mexico (1889);

    Gondola Days (1897);

    The Venice of To-Day (1897).

    His novels and short stories are especially felicitous in their portrayal of the Old South. Among them are:

    Col. Carter of Cartersville (1891), which was successfully dramatized;

    A Day at La Guerre's and other Days (1892);

    A Gentleman Vagabond and Some Others (1895)(short stories);

    Tom Grogan (1896);

    Caleb West, Master-Diver (1898);

    The Other Fellow (1899) (short story collection, including A Kentucky Cinderella, which was adapted to film in 1917 and 1921);

    The Fortunes of Oliver Horn (1902), which has reminiscences of his artist friends;

    The Under Dog (1903) (collection of 13 short stories);

    Col. Carter's Christmas (1904);

    At Close Range (1905);

    The Tides of Barnegat (1906);

    The Veiled Lady (1907);

    The Romance of an Old Fashioned Gentleman (1907);

    Peter (1908);

    Forty Minutes Late and Other Stories (1909);

    Kennedy Square (1911);

    The Arm-chair at The Inn (Charles Scribner's Sons) (1912);

    In Thackeray's London: Pictures and Text (Doubleday, Page & Co. ) (1913);

    Felix O'Day (1915);

    Enoch Crane (1916) (completed by F. Berkeley Smith).


Quotations: “Guns, swords, batteries, armies and ships of war are set in motion by man for the subjugation of an enemy. Women bring conquerors to their feet with the magic of their eyes. ”