Early on, Smith turned his talents to race rights and reform. He was a well-known participant in the Underground Railroad; Whipper told William Still that it was known "far down in the slave region, that Smith & Whipper, the negro lumber merchants, were engaged in secreting fugitive slaves" (Still, p. 739). Smith opposed the colonization movement and supported the early strivings of Whipper's American Moral Reform Society in 1834-1835. A frequent but not addicted convention goer and mass-meeting participant, he fought for the abolition of slavery, the removal of "white" from the state constitution, and the integration of Philadelphia's railway cars. Smith supported the temperance movement and was an officer in a number of black organizations, including the Odd Fellows, Social, Civil, and Statistical Association; the Grand Tabernacle of the Independent Order of Brothers and Sisters of Love and Charity; and the Union League Association. He hosted John Brown for a week in 1858 and, along with James Wormley and Henry Highland Garnet, had a leadership role in the movement to erect a Lincoln memorial monument.
Leslie H. Fishel, "Smith, Stephen," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/15/15-01038.html.