Bennett Smith

Male, Ship Builder

1808 – 1886

46

Who was Bennett Smith?

Bennett Smith was a shipbuilder and shipowner in Nova Scotia, Canada. Smith briefly served as a member of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly for Hants County in 1858 and 1859 as a Liberal member.

He was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of John Smith and Ann Grant. He learned the craft of shipbuilding from his father, and he and his brothers inherited their father's shipyard, located on Smith's Island at the intersection of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers, in 1832. In the same year, Smith married Rachel Harris.

During the early 1840s, Smith was involved in farming and the timber trade but returned again to shipbuilding. He built 27 large ships involved in foreign trade, owning and operating all but one; he also owned shares in other vessels.

He was elected to the provincial assembly in 1858 following the death of Ichabod Dimock; he did not run for reelection in the general election the following year.

Smith's final Windsor-built ship, launched in May 1877 to great fanfare, was the full rigged, 1318 ton Black Watch. The ship cost $50,000.00 to construct. The Black Watch was wrecked on the craggy coast of Fair Isle on 19 September 1877, four months after she was launched in Nova Scotia on her maiden voyage. The crew, the ship's provisions as well as the sails and any salvageable hardware were all saved.

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Born
Nov 29, 1808
Children
Died
Jan 11, 1886

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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