President Zachary Taylor Appoints a Prominent Maine Attorney Collector for the Port of Machias

Taylor’s presidential appointments are uncommon, this being just the second we have had in all these years

William Bartlett Smith was born and raised in Machias, Maine. He was a prominent attorney, state legislator, and three-time Collector of Customs for the Port of Machias. Smith was first appointed Collector by President Tyler in 1841, and served until 1845. After a four year hiatus he was again named to that...

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President Zachary Taylor Appoints a Prominent Maine Attorney Collector for the Port of Machias

Taylor’s presidential appointments are uncommon, this being just the second we have had in all these years

William Bartlett Smith was born and raised in Machias, Maine. He was a prominent attorney, state legislator, and three-time Collector of Customs for the Port of Machias. Smith was first appointed Collector by President Tyler in 1841, and served until 1845. After a four year hiatus he was again named to that office by Presidents Taylor and Fillmore, serving until 1853. Becoming a Republican upon formation of that party, Smith was returned to the Machias collectorship for four years by President Lincoln. He was in charge of planning the town’s centennial celebration in 1863, and his book, “Memorial of the Centennial Anniversary of the Settlement of Machias”, was published the same year.

Document signed, Washington, April 23, 1849, appointing Smith to be “Collector of the Customs for the district and Inspector of the Revenue for the port of Machias, in the State of Maine.” The document is countersigned by Secretary of the Treasury William M. Meredith.

Because of his early death in office, documents signed by Taylor as President are much less common than those for any 19th century president besides William Henry Harrison and James Garfield.

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