- A White Deer And Other Stories (2007)
- Patrick Smith’s Florida, A Sense of Place (DVD) (2005)
- The Seas That Mourn (2003)
- The Last Ride (2000) (with Glen “Pee Wee” Mercer, champion bull rider)
- Allapattah (1987)
- A Land Remembered (1984) (Winner of the Florida Historical Society’s Tebeau Prize: Most Outstanding Florida Historical Novel)
- In Search of the Russian Bear (1983) (non-fiction
- Angel City (1978)
- Forever Island (1973)
- The Beginning (1967)
- The River Is Home (1953)
by Tasha Hines (SHS)
Patrick Davis Smith was born on October 8, 1927, to John D., Sr. and Nora (Eubanks) Smith in Mendenhall, Mississippi. He served in North Africa and Europe in 1945 as a United States Merchant Marine (Locher 508). On August 1, 1948, he married Iris Doty and later had a son named Patrick D. Smith, Jr. (Locher 508). After attending college at Hinds Junior College, where he received an A.A., at age seventeen, he went on to attend the University of Mississippi, known as Ole Miss, in Oxford, Mississippi (Locher 508). He received a B.A., in 1947 and a M.A., in English from the University of Mississippi in 1959 (Abbott 776). At the University of Mississippi, he once saw William Faulkner walking across the campus, but he wrote his master’s thesis on Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, the author of another Florida masterpiece called The Yearling.
Between 1948 and 1956, Patrick was the owner of a car dealership and cattle ranch in Mendenhall, Mississippi. He became director of public relations at Hinds Junior College in Raymond, Mississippi, between the ages of thirty-two and thirty-five. He then became director of public relations at Sperry Rand Corporation, Vickers Division, in Jackson, Mississippi, between 1956 and 1958. In 1962, when James Meredith became the first African-American to enroll at Ole Miss, Smith’s new job in public relations at Ole Miss required him to escort Meredith safely to his classes. This experience resulted in his writing The Beginning.
Throughout his life, Smith was a member of many organizations. He has been a member of the following organizations: American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, American College Public Relations Association, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Authors Guild of American, Authors League of America, Florida Association of Community Colleges, and Cape Canaveral Public Relations Association (Locher 508). Patrick served as a member on the professional staff of the annual Rollins College Writers’ Conference in Winter Park (Abbott 776).
Smith was named Mississippi’s Outstanding Man of the year and was also awarded a Distinguished Service Award from Mississippi Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1977, Smith received a high honor of recognition as Alumnus of the Year at Hinds Junior College (Lloyd 414).
Smith completed several novels . Seven of his novels are as follows: Forever Island, The River Is Home, Angel City, A Land Remembered, The Beginning (about the Civil Rights movement) and Allapattah (Locher 508, Abbott 776). His novels, Forever Island and Angel City were mentioned for the Pulitzer Prize award. The River Is Home, Patrick’s first novel, won two outstanding awards. The awards he received were the Gold Medal of the International Mark Twain Society and the Canadian Fiction Award. Published in nineteen foreign countries, Forever Island was also included in one volume of Reader’s Digest Condensed Books. Smith’s novel, Angel City, has been made into a feature-length film for CBS. To write it, Smith purchased used clothes and went to work as a migrant worker. When the movie was made, he had a bit part as the seller of okra. In Search of the Russian Bear is a book about Smith’s experiences in the Soviet Union in 1983 (Abbott 776).
After moving to Florida in 1966, he served as director of college relations at Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Florida. Although he retired in 1988, Smith continued to speak to groups about how literature can better the world. In addition to the state of Mississippi claiming him as a native son, the state of Florida claims him as one of its most famous authors. He was inducted into the 1999 Florida Artists Hall of Fame, only the second author to be inducted during his lifetime. Four of his novels are set in Florida. His novel, A Land Remembered, won the Florida Historical Society’s Tebeau Prize as the Most Outstanding Florida Historical Novel. It is a story of the MacIvey family who lived in Florida from 1858 to 1965. Smith, in his retirement, lived on Merritt Island, Florida, and in his spare time, he enjoyed boating, gardening, and exploring wildlife. (Locher 508)
In 1999 Florida inducted him into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. In September, 2000, Smith’s book, written with and about Glen “Pee Wee” Mercer, a former champion bull rider, was published by Sea Bird Publishing, Inc. Mercer was paralyzed from the neck down in a disastrous accident while dismounting from a successfully ridden bull in 1995. The book is called The Last Ride. Proceeds from the book have helped Mercer to hire several nurses and give his mother, who is his caregiver, a break.
At the 2002 Annual Meeting of the Florida Historical Society Patrick D. Smith was named the “Greatest Living Floridian.” Although Smith accepted the honor, he refused the $5,000 prize. The society will use the money to endow the “Patrick D. Smith Award for Florida Literature.” On August 1st, 2006, the causeway between Merritt Island, going toward Cocoa Beach, Florida as far as the Canaveral Hospital, was dedicated the Patrick D. Smith Causeway.
Smith was honored in 2013 for his literary contributions to the state of Florida, (especially his multi-generational novel, A Land Remembered). He died Sunday, January 27, 2014, in Merritt Island, Florid, at the age of eighty-seven. He had broken his arm and hip in a bathroom fall and was suffering from emphysema.
Timeline to 2007
1927–born in Mendenhall, Mississippi
1944–received A.A. from Hinds Junior College
1945–U.S. Merchant and Marine
1947–received B.A. from University of Mississippi
1947-55–wrote for two Jackson newspapers
1948–married Iris Doty
1948-56–owner of car dealership and cattle ranch
1953–published The River Is Home
1956-58–director of public relations at Sperry Rand Corp.
1956–named Mississippi’s Outstanding Young Man of the year
1959–received M.A. from University of Mississippi
1959-62–teacher at Hinds Junior College
1962-66–director of public relations at the University of Mississippi
1966–moved to Florida
1966–director of public relations at Brevard Community College
1967–published The Beginning
1968–district director of American College Public Relations Association
1973–published Forever Island
1976–chairman of Cape Canaveral Public Relations Association
1977–named Alumnus of the Year of Hinds Junior College, Mississippi
1978–published Angel City
1983–traveled to the Soviet Union
1984–published A Land Remembered
1990–Florida PBS-TV released a documentary, Visions of Nature: Patrick Smith’s Florida, which portrays his work as a writer
1995– Received The Order of the South from the Southern Academy of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
1999–Inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame.
2000–Published The Last Ride with Glen “Pee Wee” Mercer
2002–Named Greatest Living Floridian by Florida Historical Society. Gives $5000 prize to fund for new writers
2003–Published The Seas that Mourn
2005—Patrick Smith’s Florida, A Sense of Place (DVD)
2006–Florida causeway to Merritt Island, Florida, dedicated the Patrick D. Smith Causeway.
2007— A White Deer and Other Stories
A Review of Forever Island
by Tasha Hines (SHS)
This novel is about a Mikasuki Seminole who lives in a swamp by the Florida Everglades. The name of the place where he lives is the Big Cypress Swamp. Charlie Jumper is eighty-six years old, five foot nine, tanned skin from the Florida sun, and his black hair is now covered by white strings of hair. His wife’s name is Lillie Tiger and his youngest son’s name is Billie Joe. Billie Joe is married to Watsie Cypress.
In this novel, Charlie is so used to the old ways of living that he can’t adjust to the new ways. He is told that he has to move because someone has bought the swamp and wants Charlie and his family off the land. Charlie decides that he will not surrender the land without a fight His best friend is also involved with the fight for keeping the swamp. His best friend is killed trying to destroy the equipment of the construction workers. After Charlie realizes that he doesn’t have a chance to over-power the white man, he leaves his family and goes into the swamp. He is looking for the island that is known in Seminole legends as Forever Island.
- A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith is a novel that covers 110 years of Florida history, 1863 – 1968, as seen through the eyes of several generations of a pioneer family. Lesson plans are available here.
- Obituary for Patrick D. Smith
- Patrick D. Smith on YouTube discusses A Land Remembered
- Jeff Klinkenberg, Tampa Bay Times, remembers Patrick Smith
- Official Patrick D. Smith web site
- More information about A Land Remembered
- Abbott, Dorothy ed. Reflections of Childhood and Youth: Mississippi Writers. Vol. I. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi; 1985. 776
- Lloyd, James B. “Patrick D. Smith.” Lives of Mississippi Authors, 1817-1967. Jackson, Mississippi University Press of Mississippi, 1981. 414
- Locher, Frances Carol ed. Contemporary Authors Vol. 77-80. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Company; 1979. 508
- Smith, Patrick Davis. Forever Island. New York, New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc, 1973.