An online project under the direction of the CAPE ANN MUSEUM
Historical Materials: Gloucester Buildings & Businesses
Isaac A. P. Smith store
Isaac Smith was a physician who lived on Middle Street in Gloucester (corner of Middle and Short). The 1850 federal census lists Smith as a merchant and it appears that Smith operated a store in Gloucester that sold Lane’s 1836 lithograph.
Dr. Isaac Procter Smith (1802–62) was born on the Smith Farm in Manchester, Massachusetts, the second child of Burley and Mary (Allen) Smith. He married Hannah Wallis (1806–76) in Beverly in 1826 before moving to Gloucester where they had three children.
He was a physician, although where he trained has not been discovered, and lived with his family on Main Street in a brick house that is still standing. (1)
Not much is known about him except that he was relatively wealthy and cultured. Among his possessions at his death in 1862 were: a piano forte, a refrigerator, two buggies, one carryall, one sleigh, a horse and a pony, and a sizable medical library. (2) He also had a “View of Gloucester” valued at $5. No artist is named but it may have been one of Fitz H. Lane’s works.
No obituary has been found but the local newspaper reported on his funeral: “The funeral of Dr. I.P. Smith was attended by a large concourse of citizens … Rev. Mr. Mountford conducted the funeral exercises in an eloquent and impressive manner.” (3)
Rev. Mountford was a Unitarian minister and Spiritualist who had been affiliated with the First Parish Church in Gloucester in the 1850s, and officiated at Fitz H. Lane’s funeral a few years later.
– Stephanie Buck
1. Gloucester Directory, 1869, Walling Map, 1851. The building is now 44 Main Street, 1878 Street Listing (Mrs. Carrie Morgan owner of 44 & 46 Main St.).
2. His entire estate was valued at $26, 881.70 Essex Co. Probate #52512.
3. Cape Ann Advertiser, March 14, 1862.
Gloucester Telegraph: Items, p. 1, col. 5
American Antiquarian Society
“We are requested to inform the public that Mr. LANE’s View of Gloucester is in a state of forwardness, and will be completed by the first or middle of February next. Persons wishing to obtain a good lithographic view of Gloucester, and disposed to encourage a native artist, can subscribe by applying to ISAAC A. SMITH, No. 33, Front Street.”
Gloucester Telegraph: p. 2, col. 3
American Antiquarian Society
“We have received a copy of a lithographic sketch of the town of Gloucester, executed by Mr. FITZ H. LANE of this town. The sketch itself is, we think, most admirably executed; and so far as we are acquainted with the art, there is a softness and beauty in the design, which we do not always find in the works of older and more distinguished artists. We think that the effect would have been more striking, had the view been taken from some other place than Eastern Point. There are several places whence the town could be seen to better advantage. However, we do not mean to find fault with so deserving a performance; and we hope the people of Gloucester will encourage an artist whose youth and evident talent, with other circumstances, (that of his being a native, not the least,) ought to entitle him to their liberal patronage. We venture to predict that he will one day become distinguished in his art.
Subscribers and others may obtain the print at the store of Isaac A. Smith.”