John Henry Smyth, LL. D., ex-U. S. Minister Resident and consul-General to Liberia, was born in the city of Richmond. His parents were Sully Smyth of Lynch-burg, Campbell County, Va., and Ann Eliza, formerly Goode of Chesterfield County, Va. He received his first instruction from a lady of his own race, at a time when the laws of Virginia made it a penal offense to teach Negroes any other thing than manual labor. At the age of seven years he was sent to Philadelphia to be educated. He attended the public schools of that city four years and two private schools under the control and direction of friends or Quakers. He graduated from the Institute for Colored Youth, May 4, 1862. He displayed a decided taste and aptitude for the fine arts early in life, and at the age of sixteen years he became a student of art, and was admitted a member of the Life School of the Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, a year before graduation. In 1870 he graduated from the Law School of Howard University. The same year he married the daughter of Rev. John Shippen, of Washington, D. C., Miss Fannie Ellen, a lady whom he had the pleasure of instructing in the first elocution class of Howard University. For eighteen years he was in the service of the United States, beginning as a first- class clerk and ending as United States Minister and Consul-General. For seven years he taught in the public schools of Pennsylvania, practiced law in the District of Columbia, North and South Carolina. On retiring from the diplomatic service in Liberia, two distinctions were conferred upon Mr. Smyth, by Liberia College, the honorary degree of LL. D., and by the President of Liberia, the Honorable Hilery Richard Wright Johnson, the order of Knight Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption.