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Virginia Military Institute -- History -- 19th century

 Subject
Subject Source: Local sources

Found in 45 Collections and/or Records:

Founders Day Speech

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0466
Scope and Contents A four page holograph manuscript containing the text of a speech given by an unidentified speaker on the Institute's Founders Day anniversary, November 11, 1843. "With you in a great degree it rests to sustain the name of the Institution which herafter you will be proud to acknowledge as your Alma Mater, the brightest hopes and fondest dreams of our Common State."

Francis H. Smith Circular Letter Soliciting Items to Establish a Museum at VMI

 Item
Identifier: RG-02-Outgoing-18450227
Scope and Contents Virginia Military Institute printed circular, signed in ink by Superintendent Francis H. Smith, petitioning alumni for donations of "Curiousities, both literary and natural" to help establish a Museum at VMI. This examples is dated February 27, 1845, and addressed to William S. Beale, a member of the Class of 1843.

Also mentions addition to Barracks, new Gun House, Society of Cadets Hall, and Library.

Francis H. Smith Official Correspondence. Secession Crisis Letters, 1860-1861. Transcriptions. [Digital]

 Digital Collection
Identifier: RG02.01/Smith/Correspondence/Outgoing/Secession

Frederick T. Amiss Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0479
Scope and Contents The collection contains one letter from Cadet Frederick T. Amiss (Class of 1886) to his father, dated December 14, 1884. Amiss describes in detail the confrontation between cadets and Commandant Scott Shipp regarding an investigation into an explosion of the VMI magazine. Also included are three photographs of Amiss, which are all viewable online in the VMI Archives photographs database.

Giles Gunn Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0292
Scope and Contents The papers consist of five letters (1848-1854) written by Giles Gunn, a native of Connecticut, while he was a schoolteacher in Lexington, Rockbridge County, Virginia. The letters, addressed primarily to his sister Mary (living at the Gunn home in Washington, Litchfield County, Connecticut), include discussions of interesting local events as well as references to family. Topics include commencement at the Virginia Military Institute; a detailed description of his school and his methods of...

Historical Sketch of the Establishment and Organization of the Virginia Military Institute, 1889 July 4

 Item
Scope and Contents Typescript sketch written by John T. L. Preston. It was prepared at the request of the VMI Board of Visitors to mark Institute's Semi-Centennial celebration. Preston had planned to deliver this as an address, but he was not able to do so and it was read by his son Rev. Dr. T. L. Preston.Includes details about events leading to the establishment of VMI, including debates in the local Franklin Society and letters to the local newspaper written by Preston under the penname "Cives" in...

Historical Sketch of the Establishment and Organization of the Virginia Military Institute, 1889 [Digital]

 Digital Collection
Identifier: http://digitalcollections.vmi.edu/digital/collection/p15821coll11/id/3854

James D. Saunders letter

 Item
Identifier: MS-0247
Scope and Contents One letter (November 24, 1842) from Cadet James Saunders to his cousin John Mitchell. Saunders describes hardships of cadet life, the dullness of Lexington, VMI's 3rd anniversary (Founders Day) celebration, a storm damaging the north wall of Barracks, and mentions Edward C. Carrington, Class of 1844. One of the earliest extant cadet personal letters.

James W. Breedlove papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0168
Scope and Contents Papers, 8 items, of James W. Breedlove. Includes two letters (October 13, 1859; March 11, 1861) from Cadet Breedlove to his grandfather in which he discusses his studies, expenses; two letters from Superintendent Francis H. Smith to Cadet Breedlove's grandfather, acknowledging receipt of money; three VMI quarterly grade reports; one account sheet detailing VMI expenses.

John B. Strange letter

 Item
Identifier: MS-0153
Scope and Contents Strange's letter to his sister Anne was written just a few months after the Institute's opening day, and is one of the oldest personal cadet letters still in existence. Strange mentions several aspects of cadet life that were common during the pre-Civil War era: Final examinations were given orally rather than as written tests, presided over by faculty and the VMI Board of Visitors and open to the public; summer furlough was not automatic, and many cadets stayed at the Institute throughout the...