1822 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Elihu Hubbard Smith

William Dunlap, in Memoirs of Charles Brockden Brown, the American Novelist (1822) 43-45.



E. H. Smith was a native of Litchfield, Connecticut, and only son of Dr. Reuben Smith, of that place. From his infancy attached to books, Elihu was at a very early period qualified to enter college, and was accordingly placed at Yale, then under the presidency of Dr. Styles. After passing through college with reputation, he was still a boy, and his father very judiciously placed him under the care and tuition of Dr. Dwight, now president of Yale College, then minister of Greenfield, Connecticut, and principal of an academy of high reputation in that village. After due preparation in medical studies under his father, Elihu was sent to Philadelphia as a physician, and in that city became an associate of Brown's. Being qualified for practice, Dr. Smith fixed upon the city of New York for the place of his residence, and became the intimate associate and friend of the writer, so continuing to his death. To this inestimable young man I owe the friendship of Brown....

No two men were ever more sincerely attached to each other, than Charles Brockden Brown and Elihu Hubbard Smith; yet in many particulars no two men were ever more different. Both under the necessity of being economists, Brown acted as if he had no use for money; while Smith systematically calculated his resources, and contracted his wants rigidly within the reach of his means. Brown was without system in every thing; Smith did nothing but by rule, and was as strict an economist of his time as of his money. Brown was negligent of personal appearance, even to slovenliness; while Smith was in cleanliness, neatness, and attention to the proprieties of dress, a perfect model; and seemed to make the purity of his person, and even of his clothing, an index of the purity of his mind. Brown was in mixed company often silent and absent; Smith entered readily into the views and conversation of those around him with the ease of a man of the world. Their long and intimate intercourse tended to assimilate them in some of these particulars, and in none more than in the necessary attention to personal appearance and propriety of dress. They were both journalizers, or recorders of the passing events of their lives, and their studies, their thoughts and their actions; but in this as in other things, Brown was fitful and irregular, while Smith was uniform, diligent, and orderly.