Jane Smiley

Jane was the daughter of Hannah and was an African American woman, enslaved by Robert M. Smith, who took her to Utah.  

It is interesting to note that the 1850 Census listed Jane's "color" as "yellow." At that time, a designation of "yellow" may be indicative of a multi-racial background. While the 1860 Census listed her "color" as "M" for mulatto. "Mulatto" was a term used to identify individuals with mixed racial backgrounds.

The 1850 Census was actually taken in 1851.

At this time, no primary source records have been located to prove Jane's exact birth date. However, indirect evidence implies a birth year between 1847 and 1848. The primary source, "John Brown's company of 10, report," lists Jane's age at the time as "1/4."    

While still enslaved, Jane and her family were taken to California (by Robert M. Smith) where they eventually gained their freedom. In the 1860 Census, Jane was listed under the surname "Smily."

Read More