Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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SMITH, Seba, journalist, born in Buckfield, Maine, 14 September, 1792; died in Patchogue, L. I., 29 July, 1868. He was graduated at Bowdoin in 1818, and subsequently settled in Portland, Maine, as a journalist, where he edited the "Eastern Argus," the "Family Recorder," and the 'Portland Daily Courier." During the administration of President Jackson he wrote a series of humorous and satirical letters under the pen-name of " Major Jack Downing," which attained wide celebrity. They were subsequently collected and published (Portland, 1833), and passed through several editions. He removed to New York city in 1842, where he continued his profession of journalism until shortly before his death, His other publications include "Powhatan," a metrical romance (New York, 1841);" New Elements of Geometry," an ingenious but paradoxical attempt to overturn the common definitions of geometry (1850): and "Way Down East, or Portraitures of Yankee Life" (1855).-His wife, Elizabeth Oakes (PRINCE), author, born in North Yarmouth, Maine, 12 August, 1806, was educated in her native town, married Mr. Smith early in life, and aided him in the editorship of several papers. For three years she was in charge of the "Mayflower," an annual published in Boston, Massachusetts She removed with her husband to New York city in 1842, and engaged in literary pursuits. She was the first woman in this country that ever appeared as a public lecturer. She also preached in several churches, and at one time was pastor of an independent congregation in Canastota, Madison County, New York Her books include "Riches without Wings" (Boston, 1838) ; " The Sinless Child" (New York, 1841); "Stories for Children" (Boston, 1847) ; " Woman and her Needs" (1851); " Hints on Dress and Beauty" (1852): "Bald Eagle, or the Last of the Ramapaughs" (London, 1867); " The Roman Tribute," a tragedy (1850); and "Old New York, or Jacob Leisler," a tragedy (1853).
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