Smith was the adoptive son of Ephraim King Wilson. He was a member of the Maryland state Senate from 1890 to 1898, US Congress Representative from Maryland, 1899-1900, governor of Maryland, 1900-04, and US Senator from Maryland, 1908-21. His adoptive father was also a politician, including Senator from Maryland in the US Congress and a circuit court judge, and member of a Maryland political dynasty which stretches back to the late 18th century.
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