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Claudius Crozet papers

Identifier: MS-0059
The bulk of this collection is in French and chronicles Claudius Crozet's early years in France prior to his move to the United States in 1816. Included are letters and military orders, discourses on linguistics and grammar, papers pertaining to his marriage and family, and mementos relating to his daughter, Adele, who died in 1830.

In addition, the collection contains two letters from Thomas Jefferson to Crozet, both dated 1821. The letter of March 31 is Jefferson's reply to Crozet's inquiry about a teaching position at the University of Virginia. The letter of November 23 acknowledges the receipt of Crozet's book and includes comments on scientific advancements.


  • 1792-1832


Language of Materials

French English

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must use copies of the Thomas Jefferson letters. The originals are not released for handling.

This collection is made available for educational and research use and may be used for non-commercial purposes with appropriate attribution. The VMI Archives must be cited as the source of the content in publication. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


30 items

Biographical / Historical

Claudius Crozet, engineer and educator, was born in Villefranche, France on December 31, 1789. Following his graduation from the Ecole Polytechnique, he entered the French Army as an artilleryman, and served until 1816. He was a prisoner of war in Russia from 1814 to 1816. In 1816 he married Agathe DeCamp, and the couple immigrated to the United States.

Crozet accepted an appointment as a professor of engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he taught until 1823 and published A Treatise of Descriptive Geometry for the Use of the Cadets of the United States Military Academy.

Subsequent to his career at West Point, he served as the State Engineer of Virginia (1823-1832), State Engineer of Louisiana (1832-1834), President of Jefferson College, Louisiana (1834-1836), President of VMI Board of Visitors (1837-1845), Principal Engineer of Virginia (1837-1843), and as Principal of the Richmond Academy (1845-1849). In 1849 he was appointed Chief Engineer on a project to build a tunnel through the Blue Ridge, and from 1857-1859 he worked on constructing an aqueduct for Washington, DC. Crozet died in Richmond, Virginia on January 29, 1864.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks

Online Access

Some documents from this collection documents are available online. These include the Thomas Jefferson Letters; and selected other documents.
A Guide to the Claudius Crozet Papers,1792-1832
© 2001 By Virginia Military Institute
Language of description
Description is in English

Revision Statements

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Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450