Unknown artist

Melancton Smith (1744–1798), ca. 1803–1810

Hollow-cut beige paper laid on black prepared paper
New-York Historical Society Library, Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections, Gift of Anonymous Donor, Z.2564fff

Melancton Smith (1744–1798) was a merchant and lawyer and a close adviser of Governor George Clinton who served in the New York Ratifying Convention (elected from Dutchess County). Smith was one of the strongest Antifederalists at the Convention but also led the opposition in voting for the Constitution as a compromise that he felt was necessary for the young nation, an act which did not please all the Antifederalists and had a negative effect on Smith's subsequent political career.