Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/277

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

monumental work was the crowning effoprt of a successful career. Smith was a rich man, not only from his publishing business, but on account of his large ownership in the mineral water Apollinaris and other ventures. His second son, Alexander Murray Smith, joined the firm in 1890, and with him was associated in 1894 his brother-in-law Reginald J. Smith, who in 1899 became actng partner. George Smith himself died at Byfleet, near Weybridge, on the 6th April 1901.

See the memoir (1901) of George Smith (2) prefixed to vol. i of the supplement to the Dictionary of National Biography; reminiscences contribute to the Cornhill Magazine (Nov. 1900-Feb. 1901) by George Smith; an article by Sir Leslie Stephen in the same magazine (May 1901); and the special number of the Cornhill in January 1910, published on its 50th anniversary.

SMITH, GEORGE [“ George Smith of Coalville ”] (1831-1895), English philanthropist, was born near Tunstall, Staffordshire, on the 16th of February 1831. His father was a brick maker, and when nine years old George Smith was working thirteen hours a day in the brick fields. Nevertheless he contrived to obtain some education, so that in time he improved his position, becoming manager of a brick and tile works. In 1857 he discovered, at Coalville, Leicestershire, valuable seams of clay, and on the strength of this discovery organized a large brick-making business there. He advocated legislation in the interests of brick makers, and in particular called attention to the cruelty suffered in the brickiields by child-workers, whose claims he pressed at the Social Science congresses. In 1871 he published The Cry of the Children. This work awoke the interest of the (seventh) earl of Shaftesbury and of A. J. Mundella., and, in the same year, was passed an act providing for the government inspection of brickyards, and the regulation of juvenile and female labour there. Smith's share in this act aroused great antagonism, and at the end of 1872 he was dismissed from his position at Coalville, and reduced to great poverty. Nevertheless he turned his attention to the conditions of life of the hundred thousand persons living ori canals. As the result of his representations on the subject the Canal Boats Bill was introduced by Mr Sclater-Booth (afterwards Lord Basing). This bill, which came into force in 1878, provided for the education of children on canal boats, and regulated the sanitary condition of life on board. In 1884 was passed another bill strengthening the provisions of the first. From that date onwards Smith devoted his attention to improving the condition of Gipsy children which he had described in his Gipsy Life (1880). A Moveable Dwellings Bill embodying his views was several times introduced into parliament, but always defeated. -In 1885 Smith received a grant from the royal bounty fund. He died at Crick near Rugby on the ZISI of June 1895.

See George Smith of Coalville, the Story of an Enthusiast, by E. Hodder (1896).

SMITH, GEORGE (1840-1876), English Assyriologist, was born on the 26th of March 1840 at Chelsea, London. His father was a working man, and at fourteen the boy was apprenticed to Messrs Bradbury and Evans to learn bank-note engraving. He had already shown a keen interest in the explorations of Layard and Rawlinson, and during the next few years he devoted all his spare time to studying the cuneiform inscriptions at the British Museum. His earnestness attracted the attention of Sir Henry Rawlinson, who permitted him the use of his room at the museum and placed the many casts and squeezes of the inscriptions at his disposal. Smith was thus enabled to makehis-first discovery (the date of the payment of the tribute by Iehu to Shalmanezer). and Sir Henry suggested to the trustees of the l\luseum that he should be associated with himself in the preparation of the third volume of Cunciform Inscriptions of Western Asia. Accordingly, in 1867, Smith was appointed assistant in the Assyriology department, and the earliest of his successes was the discovery of two inscriptions, one fixing 'the date of the total eclipse of the sun in the month Sivan in May 763 B.C., and the other the date of an invasion of Babylonia by the Elamites in 2280 B.c. In 1871 he published Annals of Assur-boni-tal, transliterated and translated, and communicated to the newly founded Society of Biblical Archaeology a paper on “ The Early History of Babylonia, ” and an account of his decipherment' of the Cypriote inscriptions. In 1872 Smith achieved world-wide fame by his translation of the-Chaldaean account of the Deluge, which was read before the Society of Biblical Archaeology on the 3rd of December. In the following January Sir Edwin Arnold, the editor of the Daily Telegraph, arranged with Smith that he Should go to Nineveh at the expense of that journal, and carry out excavations with a view to finding the missing fragments of the Deluge story. This journey resulted not only in the discovery of the missing tablets, but of fragments which recorded the succession and duration of the Babylonian dynasties. In 1874 Smith again left England for Nineveh, this time at the expense of the Museum, and continued his excavations at Kouyunjik. An account of his work is given in Assyrian Discoveries, published early in 1875. The rest of the year was spent in fixing together and translating the fragments relating to the Creation, the results of which work were embodied in T he Chaldaean Account of Genesis. In. March 1876 the trustees of the British Museum dispatched Smith:once more to excavate the rest of Assur-banipa.l's library. At Ikisji, a small village about 60 m. N.E. of Aleppo, he was prostrated by fever, and finally died at Aleppo on the 19th of August; He left a wife and children, on whose behalf 'a public subscription was made.

SMITH, GEORGE ADAM (1856-), Scottish divine, was born in Calcutta on the 19th of October 1856, where his father, George Smith, C.I.E., was then principal of the Doveton College. He was educated at Edinburgh in the Royal High School, the University and New College. After studying at Tübingen and Leipzig and travelling in Egypt and Syria, he entered the ministry of the Free Church of Scotland and was appointed professor of Old Testament subjects in the Free Church College at Glasgow 1892. In 1909 he was appointed principal of the University of Aberdeen.

Among his works are The Book of Isaiah (2 vols., 1888-1890); The Book of the Tweloe Prophets (2 vols., 1876-1877); Historical Geography of the Holy Land (1894); Jerusalem (2 vols., 1907); The Preaching of the Old Testament to the Age (1893); The Life of Henry Dr1ummond (1898).

SMITH, GERRIT (1797-1874), American reformer and philanthropist, as born in Utica, New York, on the 6th of March 1797. After graduating at Hamilton College in 1818, he assumed the management of the vast estate of his father, Peter Smith (1768-1837), long a partner of John Jacob Astor, and greatly increased the family fortune.. About 1828 he became an active worker in. the cause of temperance, and in his home village, Peterboro, he built one of the first temperance hotels in the country. He became an abolitionist in 1835, after seeing an antislavery meeting at Utica broken up by a mob. In 1840 he took a leading part in the organization of the Liberty party, and in 1848 and 1852 he wast nominated for the presidency by the remnant of this organization that had not been absorbed by the Free Soil party. An “Industrial Congress” at Philadelphia also nominated him for the presidency in 1848, and the “Land Reformers” in 1856. In 1840 and in 1858 he was a candidate for the governorship of New York on an anti-slavery platform. In 1853, he was elected to the National House of Representatives as an independent, and issued an address declaring that all men have an equal right to the soil; that wars are brutal and unnecessary; that slavery could be sanctioned .by no constitution, stateor federal; that free trade is essential to human brotherhood; that women should have full political rights; that the Federal government and the states should prohibit the liquor traffic within their respective jurisdictions; and that government officers, so far as practicable, should be' elected by direct vote of the people. At the end of the first session he resigned his seat. After becoming an opponent of land monopoly, he gave numerous farms of fifty acres each to indigent families, and also attempted to colonize tracts in N. New York with free negroes; but this experiment was a failure. Peterboro became a station on the “ underground railroad ”; and after 1850 Smith furnished money for the legal expenses of persons- charged with infractions of the Fugitive Slave Law. With John Brown, to whom he gave a farm in Essex county, New York, he became 'very intimate, and from time to time supplied him with funds, though it seems