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 13 Collections and/or Records:
Francis H. Smith Official Correspondence. Secession Crisis Letters, 1860-1861. Transcriptions. [Digital]
Francis H. Smith Outgoing Correspondence, 1864 May, Selected Letters. Full Text Transcriptions. [Digital]
Introductory lecture read before the Corps of Cadets : on the resumption of the academic duties of the Virginia Military Institute, at the Alms House, Richmond, Va., December 28, 1864 / by Francis H. Smith. [Digital publication]