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 1 Collection or Record:
Charles R. K. Varner collection
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.