This Week in the Civil War - 739

Jan 7, 2014

On Thursday, January 7, 1863 Caleb Blood Smith died in Indianapolis, Indiana. Smith, born in 1808, was educated at both Cincinnati College and Miami University and practiced law beginning in 1828. In the 1830s, he served as the editor of his local Indiana newspaper, the Sentinel.

Elected to the U.S. Congress as a Whig in the 1840s, Smith joined the Republican Party and helped to procure the nomination of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. A grateful Lincoln appointed Smith as Secretary of the Interior as a reward for his support.

Smith left the Administration due to declining health and over his personal opposition to the Emancipation Proclamation in late 1862.  Yet at Smith’s passing Lincoln ordered all government facilities to observe a two week mourning period to honor his former political colleague.