Daily Commonwealth, Monday May 19, 1879, page 1
Death, Burial and Memorial of "Old Uncle Jimmy"
James Smith, familiarly and affectionately known as "Old Uncle Jimmy" died on Friday morning, May 16, 1879 at his home and surrounded by the comforts that the grateful hands of those he had served so long and so faithfully had provided. According to the statement of Col. James Taylor, he was one hundred and two years of age when he died.
Throughout this long and eventful life he was an honest, industrial servant, a moral and tender-hearted man, and a pure and conscientious Christian. Black though he was, his superior character won him the respect and confidence of all who knew him, and his life as a sermon reaches out in its purifying and elevating influences to a larger congregation than and to an infinitely greater fruition that is accorded to the efforts of many who wear the robes of divine mission.
He was born in Carolina County, Virginia, the slave of Colonel James Taylor, of that county, father of General James Taylor, formerly of Newport, Ky. During his life he had seen many changes and would often, as he thought of the good old times gone by, deprecate the demoralization and viciousness of the present time. His memory, even to the last, was clear, and it was a rare treat to sit and listen to the white haired old man. as with dimmed years staring into vacancy, he would relate incidents which such familiar detail that to us, that almost mystical days of Madison, Lafayette, Jackson and Washington seemed to have been conjured up again and were passing in panoramic review before him.
His death was the result of old age; the machinery had worn out, and the sands had run out. His last words were of concern for the salvation of the world and faith in a future of eternal peace and glory.
The funeral which took place yesterday afternoon at the Bellevue-street Baptist Church was largely attended, the church being crowded to its repletion. Among those present were some of our best citizens, who took the opportunity to show their respect for a man among men. A very touching and beautiful sermon was preached by the Rev Blackburn of Covington after which the remains were taken to Evergreen Cemetery. Upon the grave of the latest and most fragrant blossoms of 1879 were strewn upon the remnant of 1777.