James Smith

James Smith was born in Ireland around 1719. He emigrated to Cheshire County Pennsylvania with his family when he was ten or twelve years old. His father was a successful farmer and James benefited from a good, simple, classical education from a local Church Minister. He later studied law at the office of his older brother George, in Lancaster. Smith was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar at age twenty-six, and set up an office in Cumberland County, near Shippensburg. This was a frontier area at the time, so he spent much of his time engaged in surveying, only practicing law when such work was available. After four or five years he moved back to more populated York, where he might practice law exclusively.