Pictured above is Ann Eliza Brainerd Smith, born in 1819 in Saint Albans. She is most commonly recognized as the wife of J. Gregory Smith, the Governor of Vermont during the Civil War, or as the daughter of Senator Lawrence Brainerd, notable abolitionist.
Smith was accomplished in her own right, and involved herself in politics by leading a team which created a Vermont woman’s exhibit at the Centennial Exposition of 1876 in Philadelphia, PA. When she wasn’t representing Vermont women, she authored poems, essays and fictional novels. One novel she wrote under her own name, and two were written anonymously but attributed to her later on by the Library of Congress.
Smith also exhibited her bravery in 1864 during the Saint Albans Raid. Raiders planned to attack the Smith family home, but she defended her house by threatening them with a (unloaded) pistol. She was recognized five years later by Governor Washburn, who named her a brevet lieutenant colonel.
After serving Saint Albans for her entire life, Smith died at the age of 85 in 1905 and is now buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Saint Albans.
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