To view this emailer as a web page, Click Here to go to website


kine Smith was born on January 17, 1853, at 201 Government Street in Mobile, Alabama, to Murray Forbes Smith, a commission merchant, and Phoebe Ann Desha. Murray Smith was the son of George Smith and Delia Forbes of Dumfries, Virginia. Phoebe Desha was the daughter of US Representative Robert Desha and Eleanor Shelby, both originally from Sumner County, Tennessee. Alva was one of six children. Two of her sisters, Alice and Eleanor, both died as children before she was born. Her brother, Murray Forbes Smith, Jr. died in 1857 and was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile. Two other sisters, Armide Vogel Smith and Mary Virginia "Jennie" Smith, were her only siblings to survive into adulthood. Jennie first married the brother of Alva's childhood best friend, Consuelo Yznaga, Duchess of Manchester. Following a divorce from Fernando Yznaga in 1886, Jennie remarried to William George Tiffany. As a child, Alva summered with her pare nts in Newport, Rhode Island, and accompanied them on European vacations. In 1859, the Smiths left Mobile and relocated to New York City, where they briefly settled in Madison Square. When Murray went to Liverpool, England, to conduct his business, her mother, Phoebe Smith, moved to Paris where Alva attended a private boarding school in Neuilly-sur-Seine. After the Civil War, the Smith family returned to New York, where her mother die