He came to Minnesota in 1854. He moved to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1856.
His party affiliation when first elected was determined by A History of the City of Saint Paul and of the County of Ramsey, Minnesota, 1876; it lists him as a member of the Republican Party in the 1860 election.
"Mr. Smith was one of the early movers in the organization of the Republican party, but left it five years ago; since that time he has been identified with the opposition." (Biographical Sketches of the Officers of Minnesota and the 19th Minnesota State Legislature by C.L. Hall, 1877, p. 20)
The St. Paul newspaper traditionally listed members who won the election with party affiliation (Democrat or Republican). In 1862 they only identified the Democrats, the assumption is that the rest were Republicans. Since he wasn't identified as a Democrat, the assumption is that he was a Republican. (St. Paul Pioneer and Democrat, January 7, 1862)
"He is styled, a wheel-horse of the Democratic party." (Biographical Sketches of the Officers of Minnesota and the 19th Minnesota State Legislature by C.L. Hall, 1877, p. 20)
He was an unsuccessful Union party candidate for the Minnesota Legislature in the 1864 election. (A History of the City of St. Paul to 1875 by J. Fletcher Williams, p. 415)