Logan Pearsall Smith

The personal details and relationships of Logan Pearsall Smith


Personal Details

DBID Gender Title


 183   Male  Mr
First Name Middle Name Last Name





DOB Place of Birth DOD Place of Death
 18/10/1865 Millville, New Jersey, USA  
Father's last name if different Mother's / Own maiden name
 Robert Pearsall Smith Hannah Pearsall Smith 



 Balliol College, studied Classics. His niece Karin married Adrian Stephen, brother of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, his other niece Ray (Rachael) Strachey was the second wife of Oliver Strachey, brother of Lytton.. Writer, also known for his strong affection for adverbs. Died 1946, never married. He took British nationality in 1913. Educated Haverford College, Harvard University and Balliol College Oxford. BA at Oxford 1893, MA 1906. Published: The Youth of Parnassus 1895, Life and Letters of Sir Henry Wotton 1907, Songs and Sonnets 1909, The English Language 1912, Trivia 1918, More Trivia 1921, Words and Idioma 1925, On Reading Shakespere 1933, Reperusals and Re-collections 1936, Unforgotten Years 1938, Milton and His Modern Critics 194. His residential address in 1940 was 11 St Leonard's Terrace, London SW3. Both his parents were Quakers he grew up in a strict Quaker community. He published his mothers letters under the title "Religious Rebel". The Smith family were Quakers in Yorkshire that emigrated to New Jersey during the time of William Penn. Logan's ancestor John Smith married the daughter of James Logan the Secretary of William Penn left behind by Penn to manage his affairs in Pennsylvania as his representative, John Logan was of Scottish decent, his father started a school in Bristol which John went on to become a master of before leaving for America. John Smith went on to run a fleet of vessels built in his own ship yard that ran out of his own wharf at Burlington, he had a prosperous trade of grain and timber for sugar, rum and molasses this was during the first half of the 18th Century. James Logan was a highly intelligent man reading and becoming an authority on astronomy, mathematics, he was competent in many languages and an avid botanist making an important contribution to the theory of the sexuality of plants. He corresponded with all the learned men of the day in Europe. He collected a library of books which were donated to the Philadelphia Library which Benjamin Franklin founded, Franklin had published some of Logan's books for him at his press, including two translations of Cicero. Part of the agreement made when James Logan had bequeathed his books to the Philadelphia Library was that the position of Librarian should be offered to his eldest son, grandson etc through the male descendents, should the male line fail it was to be offered to the eldest female descendent: Logan's grandfather held this position, then his uncle, the position remained in the family for over 50 years, it was intended that Logan himself would succeed to this position when his uncle retired due to his having not produced a male heir. Part of Logan's childhood was spent in the old original eighteenth century building with its bewigged portraits and poorly lit rooms, being given a book to study in the complete silence among the rows of ancients volumes and folios. His grandfather John Jay Smith left Burlington for Delaware, his first job there was as an assistant to a Chemist, then various other occupations before taking up the family librarian position, he went on to retire to a Quaker suburb of Germantown. John Jay wrote of himself in later life that he had spent over 40 years spent nearly 8 hours a day reading, this in from his 'Recollections'. During his life John Jay had journeyed to Europe, he published his experiences in 'A Summer's Jaunt across the Waters. He had traveled to England on a sailing packet with Logan's father in 1845, in it he recounts his experience of dining at Ham House with Samuel Gurney, and of having met Elizabeth Fry and Eliza P Kirkbride (who went on to become the third wife of Joseph John Gurney, after he died she returned to her native America where Logan's maternal grandmother Mary Whitall became her friend). To track the family history full circle he tells of a visit to Granville Penn at Stoke Park, the grandson of William Penn who had entrusted James Logan to watch over his affairs generations before. This was a new environment for a Quaker and he recounts the lifestyle of the Penn family with carriages and liveried servants, of days out shooting, the antlers of one poor stag being shipped back to Philadelphia where Logan had seen them as a child hung upon the walls of his grandfathers drawing room, the other items that seemed out of place where some carved chairs with velvet covers which seem to of been obtained abroad. During this trip he also dined at Christ Church Oxford where he sat on the raised top table along with Mr Penn and other titled dignitaries. A few years later he traveled to Europe again, this was around the time that the Crystal Palace Exhibition was in the final stages of preparation, he had the idea that when the exhibition was over that he could arrange for it to travel over to America, with this in mind he obtained a letter from the Secretary of State in Washington, when he arrived in London he was received by Lord Granville and General Gray as history shows this plan did not succeed but it did give him a wonderful reception during his stay in London. Also interested in the idea of the exhibition going on to America was Queen Victoria's Uncle, Leopold King of the Belgians, it was from him that John Jay purchased the ornately carved chairs with the velvet covers that Logan recalls from childhood in his book 'Unforgotten Years'. John Jay and the chairs returned to America aboard the steamer Atlantic, Jenny Lind was also a passenger and sang and danced during the journey. John Jay Smith had married Rachel Pearsall, she was from a Long Island family of Quakers, they had a son Robert Pearsall Smith (father of Logan Pearsall Smith), Robert married Hannah Whitall in 1851, her father John Whitall was the grandson of the pious Ann Whitall of whose religious journal Logan read. John Whitall had left home young and went to sea, he was a captain in the merchant navy by the age of 24. On giving up his life at sea he had earned enough to procure a glass works in New Jersey which he built up and became prosperous. Logan's father Robert was given a partnership in this business by his father-in-law, Robert turned out to be a gifted salesman and traveled all through America selling the companies glassware. In 1872 Robert Pearsall Smith was advised for health reasons to have take a long vacation, so the family of Robert, wife Hannah, Logan and his older sister Mary (Later Costelloe, then 2nd marriage to Bernhard Berenson) journeyed to England. Robert Pearsall Smith was considered an evangelist of his time and word of his arrival in England spread among the Quakers, some of who as he knew from earlier travels with his father were amongst the wealthy and privileged of society. They had rented a cottage at Stoke Newington, but traveled to the country houses of those eager to hear Roberts preaching's, among the houses they stayed at were Monkhams in Essex the home of the Barclays, Mrs Barclays being a descendent of the Gurneys, also Broadlands, home of the Cowper Temples. 

Personal Relationships

Person Relationship Date/Period

Bernhard Berenson

Brother in law  

Roger Eliot Fry


Bertrand Arthur William Russell

Brother in law  

Karin Elizabeth Stephen


Ray Strachey


James Abbott McNeill Whistler


Association with other groups

Group Date Joined Mem Number