April 14, 2012

Soapy's father takes the oath.

Jefferson R. Smith
Georgia, Returns of Qualified Voters and
Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869 pg. 202
(Click image to enlarge)

ay Mathis is a marvel at genealogy and she never ceases to amaze me. When ever anyone posts on a forum about anyone famous, or not so famous, she is able to find something of great value never before seen. I am among those whom she has graced with her treasured research abilities. Just the other day I opened my email and found a gem waiting there for me. The above photo/scan is from the Georgia, Returns of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869 pg 202 for Jefferson Randolph Smith Sr. This is Soapy Smith's father, the attorney. The year is 1867 and Soapy is but 7-years-old. In order for citizens of Confederate states to vote they had to sign this pledge.

Following is the text content of the oath document. Numerous parts of the form have handwritten replies but for clarity and ease of reading I chose not to distinguish which parts are handwritten unless required.

Sixth District No. 219
PERSONALLY APPEARED before me this 29 day of July 1867, Jefferson R. Smith who states that he resides in the 645th Election Precinct of Coweta COUNTY, GEORGIA, and who makes oath as follows:

“I, Jefferson R. Smith do solemnly swear in the presence of Almighty God, that I am a citizen of the STATE OF GEORGIA; that I have resided in said State for 12 months next preceeding [sic] this day, and now reside in the County of Coweta in said State; that am 21 years old; that I have not been disfranchised for participation in any rebellion or civil war against the United States, nor for felony committed against the laws of any State or the United States; that I have never been a member of any State Legislature, nor held any executive or judicial office in any State, and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; that I have never taken an oath as a member of Congress of the United States, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid and comfort to the enemies thereof; that I will faithfully support the Constitution and obey the laws of the United States, and will to the best of my ability encourage others so to Ie. So help me, God.”

The said Jefferson R. Smith further swears that he has not been previously registered under the provisions of “An Act supplementary to ‘an act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States’―passed March 2, 1867―and to facilitate restoration,” under this or any other name, in this or any other Election District; and further, that he was born in ...[left blank]... and naturalized by ...[left blank]... on the ...[left blank]... day of ...[left blank]..., 18 ...[left blank]... in the ...[left blank]...

Jefferson R. Smith [signed]

SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED before me [Can’t decipher first word] Precinct and County for said J. R. Smith
Register of the 36 Registration District.

It is interesting to not that Jefferson Randolph Smith's father (Soapy's grandfather), Ira Ellis Smith did serve in the Confederate State Legislature and it took a presidential pardon signed by Andrew Johnson to allow Ira to become a citizen of the Untied States with the right to vote.

Jefferson Randolph Smith Sr.
May 11, 2010

Jefferson Randolph Smith Sr.: page 21-22, 26, 28, 32, 57, 377, 594.

1775: The first abolitionist society in U.S. is organized in Philadelphia with Ben Franklin as president. 
1828: The first edition of Noah Webster's dictionary is published under the name "American Dictionary of the English Language." 
1860: The first Pony Express rider arrives in San Francisco with mail originating in St. Joseph, MO. 
1865: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. He dies the following morning. 
1894: First public showing of Thomas Edison's kinetoscope takes place.



  1. Thank you for posting this. I just found the document showing that my 4th great grandfather signed the same oath. I found your page because I was Googling what it meant. I'm glad I found the answer here!


Thank you for leaving your comment and/or question on my blog. I always read, and will answer all questions left here. Please know that they are greatly appreciated. -Jeff Smith