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


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 2 Collections and/or Records:

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

 Digital Collection

Francis H. Smith West Point Diploma, 1833

Scope and Contents The United States Military Academy diploma awarded to Francis H. Smith in 1833. The ink is badly faded. Bears the signature of President Andrew Jackson.

Oversized case 9