Author: Ernest B. Furgurson

ENTRY

Thomas Nelson Conrad (1837–1905)

Thomas Nelson Conrad was a Confederate spy during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and president of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (later Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Conrad was the head of the Georgetown Institute, a boys’ school in the District of Columbia at the start of the Civil War. An open Confederate sympathizer, he worked as a spy throughout the war, even while serving as chaplain of the 3rd Virginia Cavalry. After the war, Conrad became principal of a boys’ school in Blacksburg, and when it was absorbed into the new agricultural college, attempted to become president. He finally succeeded when the Readjusters took power in 1882, and under his leadership, the school introduced literary and scientific studies, increased spending on the library, and reorganized its military program to resemble the curriculum of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. After the Readjusters lost power, Conrad was dismissed as president in 1886. He taught in Maryland, worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C., and published two memoirs of his war experiences before retiring to a farm in Prince William County. He died in 1905 in Washington.

ENTRY

Thomas Nelson Conrad (1837–1905)

Thomas Nelson Conrad was a Confederate spy during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and president of Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College (later Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Conrad was the head of the Georgetown Institute, a boys’ school in the District of Columbia at the start of the Civil War. An open Confederate sympathizer, he worked as a spy throughout the war, even while serving as chaplain of the 3rd Virginia Cavalry. After the war, Conrad became principal of a boys’ school in Blacksburg, and when it was absorbed into the new agricultural college, attempted to become president. He finally succeeded when the Readjusters took power in 1882, and under his leadership, the school introduced literary and scientific studies, increased spending on the library, and reorganized its military program to resemble the curriculum of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. After the Readjusters lost power, Conrad was dismissed as president in 1886. He taught in Maryland, worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, D.C., and published two memoirs of his war experiences before retiring to a farm in Prince William County. He died in 1905 in Washington.

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