John Winsmith was born John Winn Smith in the upstate near Glenn Springs, S.C.; from 1822 to 1825, he attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; upon his return to S.C., he practiced medicine in Spartanburg and Union Districts. An act of the South Carolina Legislature changed his name from John Winn Smith to John Winsmith. He represented Spartanburg District in the S.C. legislature from 1830 to 1832 and again from 1852 to 1862 and 1865-1866. He also served as a delegate to the Southern Rights Convention of 1852; during the Civil War, he serve the Confederate Army as captain of Company H, 1st Regiment, S.C. Volunteers. While serving in the S.C. Senate, he opposed the 1865 "Black Code" that attempted to exert control over freedmen. Previously a Democrat, he joined the Republican Party in 1870 and was subsequently attacked and seriously wounded by the Ku Klux Klan because of his cooperation with the Radical government. He died and is buried in Spartanburg, S.C.; husband of Catherine Elizabeth Faber Winsmith and father of John Christopher Winsmith (1834-1877) and Kate Winsmith Moore; son of William Smith (1751-1837) and brother of Isaac Smith (1784-1857).
From the description of John C. Winsmith papers, 1773-1878. (University of South Carolina). WorldCat record id: 753986537