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Arthur Smith, Early Long Island Quaker
Osborn Shaw, Brookhaven Town Historian - 1950

    Arthur Smith was one of the most pronounced Quakers to live in Southold.  His religious views were the cause of his leaving there and settling at Setauket, the mother settlement of the Town of Brookhaven. It appears that Brookhaven was always a few degrees less Puritan and much more tolerant than Southold.
    The trial of Arthur Smith on charge of being a Quaker, is given in the New Haven Colonial Records, Vol. II, pages 269 and 291, where it states he was tried in May 1659 and, after being whipped, was ordered to report back to the October term of the court, provided he be not removed from its jurisdiction which, of course, included Southold but did not include Cromwell Bay, Setalcott or Ashford as Brookhaven was first known. Smith must have removed to Setauket soon after his trial for in Vol. I of the Brookhaven records, printed edition of 1924 (which contains all of Books I and II, 1657-1679) on page 126, it reads:

"At a town meeting held the first decem 1659 - It is agreed by vote that Aurther Smith shall have a lot in the town Pvided it may not hinder lohn Chachums [=Ketcham] coming hither"
Evidently Ketcham was not hindered for, from that date, the name of Arthur Smith appears frequently as a Brookhaven townsman.
    The year 1659, when Smith got into trouble on account of his strange doctrines, was the year that Brookhaven applied to be admitted to Connecticut (Hartford) and he probably knew of this and that if he removed to Setauket, he would be free to hold his beliefs without being penalized by New Haven.
    Things moved slowly in those days and it was not until 16 May 1661, that the General Court of Hartford accepted the "Towne of Setaucke on Long Island" on the same terms as Southampton (Brookhaven Records, Vol. 1, p. 146). Then another year went by and it was not until 1 August 1662, that Connecticut "orders" (probably meaning laws) were sent over by Master John Allyn, its secretary, and were read in one of the then frequent town meetings, "and no man opposed the same in publick but arter smith," (ibid. p. 78). Thus it would seem that he still persisted in being a "conscientious objector" to all man-made laws which the more fanatical of the Quakers held to be the work of the devil. I can not help but think that this idea of theirs undoubtedly was one of the reasons for the severe punishment meted out to them, and it is surprising that Brookhaven, being as strict as it was in admitting newcomers, should have admitted Arthur Smith from Southold and Richard ("Bull") Smith from Southampton. With the frequent and close communication between the first five towns (soon to form the East Riding of Yorkshire) the records of these two men must have been known in Brookhaven before they were taken in as townsmen.
    Robert Smith, who also came from Southold to Brookhaven, is thought by some genealogists to have been a brother of Arthur. He appears to have died without surviving issue, but Arthur left a widow, Martha, and several sons who became the progenitors of the "Arthur Smiths" of Coram, Setauket, Stony Brook, Old Field and other villages and towns in Suffolk County. Some of these Smiths married into the "Bull" and "Tangier" Smith families and it would be a difficult problem for any genealogist to identify some of the lines. Daniel Smith of Setauket, a grandson or possibly great-grandson of Arthur, the Quaker, held the Brookhaven Town clerkship from May 1737 to May 1775 - one of the longest periods in the Town's history.
    His sons, Elijah and Amos, followed him for much shorter term. As they and all the other early descendants were identified with the old town church (later Presbyterian) and some still later with Caroline Episcopal church, it is doubtful if Arthur's children were Quakers, with the possible exception of Benjamin whose son, John of Stony Brook, married a Quaker girl and was closely associated with the Willet, Powell and Udall Quaker families.