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Jennings C. Wise papers

Identifier: MS-0004
The Jennings C. Wise Papers consist primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence from the period 1910-1960. Included are letters dating from his years as Professor and Commandant of Cadets at VMI, from his practice of law, and from his retirement period in which he devoted himself primarily to writing. Wise was passionately interested in the history and future development of VMI and much of the correspondence reflects his ongoing involvement with the school. He often held controversial views and frequently expressed his dismay at what he perceived to be a lessening of military discipline at VMI. Other items in the papers include:
  • Memoranda
  • Editorials and articles written by Wise
  • Circulars
  • Notebooks
  • Printed material
  • A photograph album (1913-1914) documenting the retirement of the VMI Cadet Battery and the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of New Market, Virginia.


  • 1910-1960


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Manuscript collections in the VMI Archives are made available for educational and research use. The VMI Archives should be cited as the source. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright holders. Materials from our collections may not be redistributed, published or reproduced without permission from the VMI Archives. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.


3.5 cubic feet (7 manuscript boxes and oversized material)

Biographical / Historical

Jennings C. Wise, lawyer and army officer, was born on September 10, 1881 in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from the Phillip Exeter Academy (New Hampshire) in 1882 and from VMI in 1902. He subsequently received a law degree from the University of Virginia.

Wise spent the majority of his career in the practice of law, primarily in private practice. He was associated with the firms of Pollard , Wise and Chichester (Richmond, Virginia), and Munn, Anderson and Munn (Washington, DC). In addition, he taught at his alma mater, VMI from 1912 to 1915, and he served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I.

Following his retirement in 1954, he concentrated on researching and writing a book ultimately published under the title "Sunrise of the Virginia Military Institute as a School of Arms." He died in 1968.

Physical Location

Manuscripts Stacks; and Oversized case 1, drawer 5


Addition, 2013: bound letterbook, 1912-1926

Separated Materials

Oversized materials are stored separately in oversized case.cases
A Guide to the Jennings C. Wise Papers
Diane B. Jacob
© 2002 Virginia Military Institute Archives

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Military Institute Archives Repository

VMI Archives
Preston Library
Lexington VA 24450