Rouses Point businessman Mark L. Barie has written the first biography of North Country politician Smith Weed. In The President of Plattsburgh, The Story of Smith Weed (Crossborder Publishing, 2014), Barie paints a portrait of Weed – six feet tall, with piercing black eyes – a man who was said to smoke nine cigars a day.
Smith Weed was instrumental in the establishment of the Champlain Valley Hospital, the YMCA, the Plattsburgh Library, and the Hotel Champlain, but was perhaps best known nationally for his central role in “The Cipher Dispatches” voter fraud controversy during the fiercely disputed presidential election of 1876.
Weed was President (Mayor) of Plattsburgh in the mid-19th century and served six terms in the New York State Assembly. The Plattsburgh attorney was also a successful businessman and philanthropist.
“I was stunned to discover the Smith Weed played a significant role in so many educational, cultural, economic, and political initiatives.”, Barie said about his research. “He is quite possibly the most influential person in the entire history of the North Country.”
The 142-page book includes more than 350 footnotes and almost two dozen photographs. The book is available at the Cornerstone Bookstore, Lake City Books, and the Cornerstone Pharmacy in Rouses Point, and at Amazon.com.
Previously, Barie collaborated with his wife, Christine Racine, on Crossing the Line, a history of the border at Rouses Point and Champlain.
All profits from sale of the book are being donated to the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Committee. For more information, contact Barie at 1-800-545-8125.
Note: Books noticed at Adirondack Almanack are provided by their publishers.