John Smith

John Smith

Preston, John Smith, 1809-81, Confederate general in the American Civil War, b. near Abingdon, Va. He practiced law at Abingdon and Columbia, S.C., but made his fortune operating a Louisiana sugar plantation. Preston, an ardent advocate of states' rights in the South Carolina senate (1848-56), strongly supported secession. In the Civil War he first served as an aide to General Beauregard and later (1863-65) headed the bureau of conscription at Richmond, being promoted to brigadier general in 1864. He went to England after the war, and although he returned in 1868, he remained a defender of the Confederacy until the end.
Smith, John, d. 1612, English nonconformist: see Smyth, John.
Smith, John, c.1580-1631, English colonist in America, b. Willoughby, Lincolnshire, England. A merchant's apprentice until his father's death in 1596, he thereafter lived an adventurous life, traveling, fighting in wars against the Turks in Transylvania and Hungary, and surviving a period of slavery in Turkey. His own account of these adventures has been doubted by some investigators but has been substantiated in a number of particulars. Returning to England, he invested in the new London Company and in 1606 sailed from London for America with Capt. Christopher Newport. On arrival in Virginia, Smith was named a member of the governing council of the Jamestown settlement, although not permitted to serve immediately, and began his explorations of the surrounding territory. He established trade relations with the Native Americans, drew up a map of Virginia, and finally fell into the hands of the Native American chief Powhatan. Although there is no definite proof of the famous incident of Smith's being saved from death by Powhatan's daughter, Pocahontas, it is considered quite probable that it happened. After his return (1608) to Jamestown, Smith's enemies arrested him, but he was saved from hanging by the arrival of Newport with new settlers. Smith then became president of the council and energetically resisted the company's peremptory demands that the colonists find gold. Maintaining his leadership despite opposition, he carried the colony through periods of intense suffering, hunger, and want (the "starving time"), remaining firm, tactful, and resourceful. Injured in an explosion, he returned to England in 1609. In 1614 he was sent to New England by a group of London merchants, and returned with a valuable cargo of fish and furs. He emphasized the importance of fishing and upheld the prospects for settlement in New England. On another voyage he was captured by pirates and then by the French, but eventually returned to England. He wrote A True Relation of … Virginia (1608), A Map of Virginia (1612), A Description of New England (1616), New England's Trials (1620, 2d ed. 1622), The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles (1624), An Accidence; or, The Path-Way to Experience (1626; enl. and repub. as A Sea Grammer, 1627), The True Travels, Adventures, and Observations of Captaine John Smith (1630), and Advertisements for the Unexperienced Planters of New England, or Anywhere (1631).

See edition of his works by E. Arber (1884; repr. and ed. by A. G. Bradley, 2 vol., 1910, repr. 1967); biographies by J. G. Fletcher (1928, repr. 1972), B. Smith (1953), P. L. Barbour (1964), N. B. Gerson (1966), and E. H. Emerson (1971).

Smith, John, 1938-94, British politician. A barrister, he was first elected to Parliament in 1970 as a Labour party member from Scotland. He served as secretary for trade in 1970 and subsequently as Labour spokesperson on a number of economic and industrial issues, developing a reputation as a moderate. Smith was elected leader of the Labour party when Neil Kinnock resigned following the Conservative victory in the 1992 general elections; he served as party leader until his death in 1994.
John Smith is a name often regarded as the archetype of a common personal name in most English-speaking countries, a generic name sometimes representing "everyman" or "the average person."

In the United Kingdom and United States, John has historically been one of the most common male first names, and Smith is the most common surname in each. It is a recurrent pseudonym, placeholder name, or metasyntactic variable in those countries (especially in legal contexts). In this fashion it is similar to the name "Joe Bloggs" in the United Kingdom and "John Doe" in the United States.

John Smith may refer to:




New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

  • John Cotton Smith (1765–1845), 8th Governor of Connecticut
  • John Joseph Smith (1904–1980), United States Representative from Connecticut and Federal Judge
  • John Smith, Louisiana State Senator
  • John Walter Smith (1845–1925), 44th Governor of Maryland
  • John M. C. Smith (1853–1923), United States Representative from Michigan's 3rd Congressional District
  • John Butler Smith (1838–1914), 52nd Governor of New Hampshire
  • John Smith (New York), United States Senator from New York
  • J. Hyatt Smith (1824–1886), United States Representative from New York's 3rd Congressional District
  • John Smith (Ohio Senator) (1735–1824), United States Senator from Ohio
  • John Quincy Smith (1824–1901), United States Representative from Ohio's 3rd Congressional District
  • Jonathan Bayard Smith (1742–1812), Pennsylvania Continental Congress delegate
  • John T. Smith (congressman), United States Representative from Pennsylvania's 3rd Congressional District
  • John Lee Smith (1894–1963), Lieutenant Governor of Texas
  • John Smith (Vermont), United States Representative from Vermont's 4th Congressional District
  • John Smith of Jamestown, helped found the Virginia Colony and became Colonial Governor of Virginia
  • John Smith (Virginia), United Stats Representative from Virginia's 3rd Congressional District
  • John Smith, Illinois Lieutenant Governor
  • John Speed Smith (1792–1854), Kentucky, U.S. Representative, 1822–1823
  • John Smith, Michigan, Mayor of Detroit, 1924–1928
  • John Ambler Smith (1847–1892), Ohio, U.S. Representative
  • John Armstrong Smith, Ohio, U.S. Representative
  • John Lyman Smith, Utah territorial legislature member
  • J. Gregory Smith (1818–1891), Vermont, the 28th Governor
  • John Hugh Smith, mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, 3 times between 1845 and 1865

Cultural figures

Academic figures

Sports figures

Religious figures

Miscellaneous figures

See also

  • John Smyth
  • Johnny Smith
  • John Maynard Smith (1920–2004), geneticist, whose surname is actually "Maynard Smith", not "Smith"
  • John Smit (born 1978), South African rugby player
  • Juan Smith (born 1981), South African rugby player
  • John Smith's Brewery
  • Johnny Smith (Dead Zone), fictional character in Stephen King's novel The Dead Zone and its subsequent adaptations.
  • J. Wesley Smith, cartoon character created by Burr Shafer
  • John Smith/Sir John Smith/Dr John Smith is the alias of The Doctor of the British TV show Doctor Who, which he uses when pretending to be human.
  • John Smith, alias of the character Kyon in the fourth novel of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya


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