Francis Hopkinson Smith (October 23, 1838-1915), United States author, artist and engineer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, a descendant of Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Smith became a contractor in New York City and did much work for the federal government, including the stone ice-breaker at Bridgeport, Connecticut, the jetties at the mouth of the Connecticut River, the foundation for the Bartholdi Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, the Race Rock Lighthouse (southwest of Fishers Island, New York) and many life-saving stations. His vacations were spent sketching in the White Mountains, in Cuba and in Mexico. He also visited and sketched in Venice, Constantinople and the Netherlands.
He illustrated and published numerous travelogues, including:
Old Lines in New Black and White (1885) Well-Worn Roads (1886) A White Umbrella in Mexico (1889) Gondola Days (1897) The Venice of To-Day (1897) His novels and short stories are especially felicitous in their portrayal of the Old South. Among them are:
Col. Carter of Cartersville (1891), which was successfully dramatized A Day at La Guerre's and other Days (1892) A Gentleman Vagabond (1895) Tom Grogan (1896) Caleb West, Master-Diver (1898) The Other Fellow (1899) The Fortunes of Oliver Horn (1902), which has reminiscences of his artist friends Col. Carter's Christmas (1904) At Close Range (1905) The Tides of Barnegat (1906) The Veiled Lady (1907) The Romance of an Old Fashioned Gentleman (1907) Peter (1908) Forty Minutes Late and Other Stories (1909)