(General)Alexander Smythe

         General Alexander Smyth was born on the island of Rathlin, Ireland, April 26, 1765 and came to America at the age of ten with his father, a parish rector. They settled in Virginia where he later passed the state's bar exam becoming a lawyer, he also was elected as a representative in the lower house. As a colonel he was ordered to Washington in 1811 to "prepare a system of discipline for the army". Within three weeks of the declaration of war he was promoted to inspector general and ordered to the Niagara Frontier. He came to this country in 1775, settled in Botetourt county, Virginia, and, after receiving an academic education, studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1789, and began to practise in Abingdon, but removed to Wythe county in 1792. For many years he was a member of the Virginia house of representatives, and he was appointed by President Jefferson, on 8 July, 1808, colonel of a United States rifle regiment, which he commanded in the southwest until 1811, when he was ordered to Washington to prepare a system of discipline for the army.[Letter of Nov 22, 1812]


         On 6 July, 1812, he was appointed inspector-general, and ordered to the Canadian frontier, where he failed in an invasion of Canada, was removed from the army, and resumed his profession, He was made a member of the Virginia board of public works, served in the house of representatives, and was elected to congress as a Democrat, serving" from 1 December, 1817, till 3 March, 1825, and again from 3 December, 1827, till 17 April, 1830. General Smyth was the author of "Regulations for the Infantry" (Philadelphia, 1812) and "An Explanation of the Apocalypse, or Revelation of St. John" (Washington, 1825). He died in Washington, D.C. April 26, 1830. In 1832, the Virginia legislature created 'Smythe' County in his honor.





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