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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 52 Collections and/or Records:

John P. Bowyer letter of recommendation

 Item
Identifier: MS-0162
Scope and Contents One letter (September 18, 1847) from VMI Superintendent Francis H. Smith to Gen. E. C. Carrington, recommending an army commission for John P. Bowyer. Bowyer had volunteered for service in the Mexican War, in which he subsequently served.

John T. L. Preston - Francis H. Smith Correspondence

 File
Identifier: RG-01-Correspondence-Preston - Smith
Scope and Contents Correspondence between Francis H. Smith, who became VMI's first Superintendent, and John T. L. Preston relating to the organization and opening of VMI. Includes four letters from Preston to Smith; and one letter from Smith to Preston, in which he accepts the job offered by the Board of Visitors to serve as Superintendent (originally called Principal Professor). One related letter is from Francis H. Smith to William Atkinson or Atkison, in which Smith asks for advice about VMI's job...

John T. L. Preston - Francis H. Smith Correspondence [digital]

 Digital Collection
Identifier: http://digitalcollections.vmi.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15821coll11/id/1448

John T. L. Preston Craney Island journal (photocopy and transcription), 1861 July 24 - September 22

 File
Scope and Contents Copy and transcription of John Thomas Lewis Preston journal, which he called "Jottings", written during his military assignment at Craney Island, Virginia in the the summer and fall of 1861.

Relating to his activities while with the 9th Virginia Infantry Regiment under the command of VMI Superintendent Francis H. Smith. Includes comments on the cuase of the Civil War, the defense of Norfolk, military science, and family.

Letter from Francis H. Smith to Perry L. Derby., 1863 June 20.

 Item
Scope and Contents

Francis H. Smith was Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute. This letter is in reply to Mr. Derby's notification that Charles has died in battle.

Letter, John T. L. Preston to Francis H. Smith, 1889 July 4

 Item
Scope and Contents Poignant letter from Preston to Smith, written on the occasion of VMI's Semicentennial celebration, in which he reminiscences about Smith's role in the founding and growth of the Virginia Military Institute.

Letter of appointment to VMI for Richard Pollard, 1846-06-27

 Item
Scope and Contents Letter appointing Richard Pollard a cadet in the Virginia Military Institute. Signed by Board of Visitors member Charles P. Dorman. Note to Pollard's father written by Superintendent Francis H. Smith at bottom.

Marshall McDonald papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0169
Scope and Contents Papers, approximately 90 items, of Marshall McDonald. The papers include primarily incoming and some outgoing correspondence, 1861-1892; notes; scientific reports; and miscellaneous documents. Among the correspondents are several VMI alumni and faculty members, including Scott Shipp, Francis H. Smith, Edward Cunningham, Wilfred E. Cutshaw, John W. Lyell, James H. Morrison, Mark B. Hardin, and Daniel W. Flowerree; and several Civil War officers including Gen. Dabney H. Maury and Hunter McGuire....

Mathematics class notes, Cadet Thomas Barksdale, ca. 1853 [digital]

 Digital Collection
Identifier: http://digitalcollections.vmi.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15821coll11/id/2485

Miscellaneous correspondence files, Superintendent's office

 Series
Identifier: RG-02-Correspondence-Misc
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.