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William A. Smith (William Andrew), 1802-1870

William Andrew Smith, college President, author and clergyman, was born on November 29, 1802 in Fredericksburg, Virginia. At the age of 11, Smith was orphaned and then befriended by a Mr. Russell Hill who provided him with a limited education. In 1825, Smith was admitted on trial as a preacher into the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was fully admitted in 1827 at the Virginia Conference. Smith was a brilliant and popular preacher.

In 1846, Smith was elected President of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. In addition to serving as President, Smith was also a professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy. In 1856, Smith delivered a series of lectures on "The Philosophy and Practice of Slavery as Exhibited in the Institution of Domestic Slavery in the United States, with the Duties of Masters to Slaves." In these lectures, Smith asserted that Scripture, philosophy and natural rights all serve to prove that the system of slavery is necessary and will continue into perpetuity.

In 1866, Smith resigned from his position at Randolph-Macon College and became the pastor of Centenary Church in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1868, Smith was chosen to be President of Central College in Fayette, Missouri. William Andrew Smith died in Richmond, Virginia on March 1, 1870.

Karen Ruffle

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