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Smith, Francis H. (Francis Henney), 1812-1890

 Person

Major General Francis Henney Smith (b. 1812 d. 1890) was appointed VMI's first Superintendent in 1839. An 1833 graduate of West Point, he had previously served briefly in the U. S. Army and was a Professor of Mathematics at Hampden-Sydney College (VA) when he accepted the position as head of the newly established Virginia Military Institute. He served for fifty years, from the Institute's infancy, through the Civil War, and through the difficult post-war period. He is known as the "builder and rebuilder of VMI." Smith retired on January 1, 1890 and died only a few months later, on March 21, 1890.

Found in 88 Collections and/or Records:

Archibald M. Fauntleroy papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0065
Scope and Contents This collection consists of one testimonial letter (dated Sept. 2, 1857) written by Superintendent Francis H. Smith on behalf of Archibald M. Fauntleroy. Also included is one drawing by cadet Fauntleroy, done as a class assignment at VMI.

Barton family papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0020
Scope and Contents The collection consists of the miscellaneous papers of three members of the Barton family who attended VMI during the mid-19th century. Papers relating to Cadet Charles M. Barton (VMI Class of 1856) include a letter dated September 28, 1855 from Charles to his cousin Joseph M. Barton, in which he complains about VMI life and about his instructor Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (Jackson is described as a "hell of a fool"). Other Charles Barton material is found in a notebook (ca. 250 pages)...

Charles P. Deyerle Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0191
Scope and Contents

The papers contain 12 items from the career of Charles P. Deyerle. Included are documents dating from his medical studies and his service in the United States Army. Also included are miscellaneous clippings.

Charles R. K. Varner collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0445
Scope and Contents The collection contains miscellaneous items pertaining to Charles R. K. Varner, VMI Class of 1884. Included are three quarterly grade reports (1881, 1884) and one letter of recommendation (1889) written by VMI Superintendent Francis H. Smith; a VMI postcard; miscellaneous dance programs from the early 20th century.

Edward C. Shepherd collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0019
Scope and Contents This collection contains three notebooks, two miscellaneous documents, and an annotated analytical geometry text that belonged to VMI cadet Edward C. Shepherd during his years as a VMI student (1851-1855).The first notebook contains approximately 50 pen and ink, hand-tinted drawings by Shepherd that were completed as assignments for VMI courses. Some drawings bear the signature of Superintendent Francis H. Smith (" Examined correct, F.H. Smith"). This notebook also includes a pencil...

Francis H. Smith

 Item
Scope and Contents Drawing of Francis H. Smith who led VMI from 1839-1889. Moses Ezekiel knew him during his own cadetship.

Francis H. Smith - George W. Cullum Correspondence, 1865. Full Text Transcriptions [Digital]

 Digital Collection
Identifier: http://digitalcollections.vmi.edu/digital/collection/p15821coll14/id/1019

Francis H. Smith Armory Commission Letters, 1858-1860. Full Text Transcriptions. [Digital]

 Digital Collection
Identifier: http://digitalcollections.vmi.edu/digital/collection/p15821coll14/id/640

Francis H. Smith Circular Letter Soliciting Items to Establish a Museum at VMI

 Item
Identifier: RG-02-Outgoing-18450227
Scope and Contents Virginia Military Institute printed circular, signed in ink by Superintendent Francis H. Smith, petitioning alumni for donations of "Curiousities, both literary and natural" to help establish a Museum at VMI. This examples is dated February 27, 1845, and addressed to William S. Beale, a member of the Class of 1843.

Also mentions addition to Barracks, new Gun House, Society of Cadets Hall, and Library.