A Guide to the Jennings C. Wise Papers, 1910-1960 Wise, Jennings C., Papers mss 00004

A Guide to the Jennings C. Wise Papers, 1910-1960

A Collection in
Virginia Military Institute Archives
Collection Number mss 00004


Virginia Military Institute Archives

Virginia Military Institute Archives
Preston Library
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, Virginia 24450-0304
Phone: (540) 464-7566
Fax: (540) 464-7279
Email: archives@vmi.edu
URL: http://www.vmi.edu/archives

© 2002 Virginia Military Institute

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Virginia Military Institute Archives Staff

Archives, Preston Library, Virginia Military Institute
Collection number
mss 00004
Jennings C. Wise Papers 1910-1960
Physical Characteristics
The collection is filed in 7 boxes.

Administrative Information


There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Jennings C. Wise Papers, mss 00004, Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, Virginia.

Biographical/Historical Information

Jennings Cropper 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 the Virginia Military Institute 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, the Virginia Military Institute (1912-1915) and he served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 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.

Scope and Content Information

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, and a photograph album (1913-1914) documenting the retirement of the VMI Cadet Battery and the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of New Market, Virginia.

Contents List

Correspondence, 1910-1960
Box 1-5

These letters pertain to both his professional life and personal interests.


Memoranda, 1922-1960
Box 6
Editorials and Articles by Jennings Wise, 1950's
Box 6
Printed Material & Miscellaneous, 1950's
Box 6
Photograph Album 1913-1914
Box 7

Containing images of the VMI Cadet Battery and of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of New Market, Virginia.