Anne Eliza Brainerd Smith

Time Period


Notable Facts

Prolific writer of essays, poems, and novels in the late nineteenth century. "Seola" (1878) was revised and republished in 1924 as "Angels and Women." Wife of J. Gregory Smith, railroad developer and governor of Vermont during the Civil War. Active in local charitable work. President of Managers of Vermont Women's Exhibit at Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Primary Residence

St. Albans

Historical Significance

Anne Eliza Brainerd Smith was a prolific writer. The eldest daughter of politician and abolitionist Lawrence Brainerd and Fidelia B. Gadcombe, she married John Gregory Smith. A prominent lawyer, politician, and railroad developer, John Gregory Smith served as governor of Vermont during the Civil War. The couple had six children; their son, Edward, served as governor during the Spanish-American War.

Under the name, Mrs. J. Gregory Smith, or anonymously, Smith wrote essays on religious topics, poems, and several important novels in the late nineteenth century. Her novel, "Seola" (1878), was revised and republished under the title "Angels and Women" in 1924.

Anne Smith became prominent in Vermont, both because of her husband's position and her own writings, which led to many speaking engagements. She became involved in local charitable work and served as president of the Warner Home for Little Wanderers. In 1876, she became president of the managers of the Vermont women's exhibit at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. She traveled widely, both in the United States and abroad.

Smith's papers can be found at the St. Albans Museum. Correspondence with her husband is located at the Vermont Historical Society.

Organizations or Movements

  • Warner Home for Little Wanderers
  • Centennial Exposition.


  • Writer

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • St.Albans Museum Link

  • J. Gregory Smith papers at Vermont Historical Society Link

  • Brief Biography Link

  • Angels and Women Website Link

Additional Images

Portrait of Ann Smith. Courtesy of Jim Rizoli
Portrait of Ann Smith. Courtesy of Jim Rizoli