From the time Burlington was founded until the Revolution, the Smith family was influential in local commerce and politics. Family patriarch Dr. Richard Smith, one of the early settlers, lived in a house on High Street at the turn of the eighteenth century.
Dr. Smith's son, Richard Jr., was an international trader whose fleet of ships sailed between Burlington and the West Indies. He also represented Burlington in the Provincial Assembly. In 1720, he built the house now known as the Coleman House. Smith purchased Alcazar in 1739, and built the Blue Anchor Tavern next to it eleven years later.
Like his father, Richard Smith, Esq. served in the Assembly. He also served as State Treasurer, and served one term in the Continental Congress before resigning based on his opposition, as a Quaker, to the Revolutionary War.