- Leslie H. Fishel
Stephen Smith was born near Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, the son of an unknown father and Nancy Smith (maiden name unknown), a Cochran family servant. On July 10, 1801Thomas Boude, a former revolutionary war officer from Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, purchased the boy's indenture. As Smith grew to manhood, he proved so able that Boude eventually made him manager of his entire lumber business.
On January 3, 1816 Smith borrowed $50 to purchase his freedom from Boude. Later that year Smith married Harriet Lee, a domestic servant in the Jonathan Mifflin home. They had no children. Free of his indenture, Smith entered the lumber business for himself, while his wife ran an oyster house. In 1820 his one and a half lots were valued at $300 Thirteen years later he owned six houses and lots worth $3 000 stocks and bonds of equal value a ...
A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.