He sounds like a pretty great guy. Smith kept a diary and in it recorded a little bit about each of the many travelers he welcomed to his big house. I love the excerpts that appear in Fergus Bordewich’s Bound for Canaan, a book on the underground railroad. I have to share:
Mrs. Crampton, a beggar woman, spent last night with us. Charles Johnson, a fugitive slave from Hagerstown, took tea at our house last evening and breakfasted with us this morning.
Mr. William Corning, a wandering pilgrim, as he styles himself, dines with us. He is peddling his own printed productions.
Poor Graham, the insane literary colored man, has been with us a day or two.
Elder Cook and William Haines of Oneida depot arrive this evening. Mr. H. is a ‘medium,’ and speaks in unknown tongues.
Dr. Winmer of Washington City, with five deaf mutes and blind child take supper and spend the evening with us.
We find Brother Swift and his wife and daughter at our house, where they will remain until they get lodgings. There come this evening an old black man, a young one and his wife and infant. They say they are fugitives from North Carolina.
A man from ____ brings his mother, six children and her half sister, all fugitives from Virginian.
An Indian and a fugitive slave spent last night with us. The Indian has gone on, but Tommy McElligott (very drunk) has come to fill his place.
source: Bound for Canaan: the underground railroad and the war for the soul of America by Fergus M. Bordewich