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:
Scope and Contents Correspondence, 1840-1918, originating in the Superintendent's office, unrelated to any other records series. Primarily about purchases and business transactions, and miscellaneous file.
Identifier: RG-02-Subject Files-Administrative
Scope and Contents Historically significant subject files spanning the administrations of multiple Superintendents. These topical files cover various historical eras; topics include areas such as planning, programs, and events.