James N. Smithee

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James N. Smithee was a notable Arkansas journalist and editor.

Smithee was born in Lawrence County, Arkansas, in 1842. His first job was as a typesetter for newspapers in Pine Bluff, Des Arc, and Powhatan. Before the Civil War he acquired part-ownership in the Brownsville Echo. During the war he served with the William E. Woodruff's light artillery (CSA). Smithee sustained a minor hip injury at the Battle of Helena in 1863.

Smithee became Commissioner of Immigration and State Lands in 1874. He ran unsuccessfully for governor on the Democratic party ticket in 1880.

Smithee served on the staff of the Arkansas Gazette and later became the editor of the Little Rock Star. Smithee purchased the Gazette in 1896. He died on July 4, 1902.


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