James Francis Smith
James Francis Smith was an American Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...
, associate justice to the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Supreme Court of the Philippines
The Supreme Court of the Philippines is the Philippines' highest judicial court, as well as the court of last resort. The court consists of 14 Associate Justices and 1 Chief Justice...
, Governor-General of the Philippines
Governor-General of the Philippines
The Governor-General of the Philippines was the title of the government executive during the colonial period of the Philippines, governed mainly by Spain and the United States, and briefly by Great Britain, from 1565 to 1935....
, and associate judge of the U.S. Court of Customs Appeals
United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
The United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals is a former United States federal court which existed from 1909 to 1982 and had jurisdiction over certain types of civil disputes.-History:...
until his death.
Smith attended Santa Clara College, graduating with B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...
degrees, and went to Hastings College of Law. He was admitted to the California bar in 1881 and wed to Lillie A. Dunnigan in 1885.
Commissioned as a colonel of 1st California Volunteer Infantry on May 6, 1898, Smith was part of the first expeditionary force to the Philippines in the Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...
. Smith served with friend Theodore Roosevelt in the Rough Riders. His regiment took part in the Battle of Manila (1898)
Battle of Manila (1898)
The Battle of Manila was a short land engagement between the United States and Spain at the end of the Spanish-American War, which occurred a couple of months after the pivotal American victory during the naval Battle of Manila Bay...
. After hostilities ceased against Spain, he saw action in the Philippine-American War
The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection , was an armed conflict between a group of Filipino revolutionaries and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following...
in the first part of 1899, and was promoted to brigadier general. In July, 1899 he was made military governor of Negros Island.
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the United States and later the tenth Chief Justice of the United States...
who was then Governor-General, appointed Smith to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, where he served from June 17, 1901 to January, 1903. Smith later worked under the Taft Commission
The Taft Commission, also known as Second Philippine Commission was established by United States President William McKinley on March 16, 1900. The Commission was the legislature of the Philippines, then known as the Philippine Islands under the sovereign control of the United States during the...
to devise a legal code for the Philippines. From 1906 to 1909 he was Governor-General; the new Philippine Assembly
The Philippine Assembly was the lower house of the legislative body of the Philippines during the early part of American colonial period. It was created by the Philippine Organic Act, passed in 1902, which also established the Philippine Commission as the upper house of the Philippine Legislature,...
was convened during this time, in 1907. He was close friends with Frank W. Higgins.
In March, 1910, four months after his return to the United States, Taft appointed Smith to the Court of Customs Appeals. He served until his death in 1928.
- Research Center Finding Aids at www.washingtonhistory.org provides finding aid to article subject from the Special Collections, Washington State Historical Society (WSHS)
- Federal Judicial Center entry on James Francis Smith