Wed . 19 Apr 2019

Thomas Nelson Conrad

thomas nelson conrad, thomas nelson conrad spy
Thomas Nelson Conrad August 1, 1837 – January 5, 1905 of Fairfax Court House, Virginia was the third president of Virginia Tech then Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College He played an active role in influencing Blacksburg as the location of choice for the new college Prior to his presidency, he taught at Preston and Olin Institute in 1871

Conrad received his bachelor's degree from Dickinson College He fought for the Confederate States during the Civil War

In 1890, Conrad resigned the college and accepted a position with the Census Office in Washington DC

Civil War

At the outbreak of the War, Conrad attended the Georgetown Institute in Georgetown, District of Columbia and openly expressed his sympathy for the Confederacy A few days after commencement, he was arrested and placed in the Old Capitol Prison in June 1861:55

Conrad was given a letter of recommendation from General Stuart to President Jefferson Davis to spy for the Confederate Secret Service He met Davis, who endorsed the letter and referred him to other members of the Confederate government Conrad received gold from Judah Benjamin and his “name placed on the rolls of the secret service bureau” He then saw Secretary of War Seddon for “papers and outfit” Davis invited Conrad to his executive mansion to hear his plans:93–95

Captain Conrad went to Washington with his Dickinson roommate and Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity brother Daniel Mountjoy Cloud and M B “Tippie” Ruggles, son of General Daniel Ruggles as couriers His slave William also accompanied them:95

Conrad set up his covert intelligence gathering operation in a large home in the heart of Washington DC His wartime exploits included among other things, hatching a plot to assassinate the Commanding General of the United States Army, Winfield Scott, that was vetoed by the Confederate government who feared that the elderly and infirm Scott would be replaced by someone more fit for command; sneaking into the War Office during lunch hour to lift copies of documents describing General McClellan's battle plans for the Peninsula Campaign, a large-scale offensive by the Union Army to capture the Confederate capitol at Richmond from the desk of a friend who was a double agent; and conspiring to kidnap US President Abraham Lincoln

In September 1864, Conrad and a team went to Washington in an attempt to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln The members of the team were “Bull” Frizzell who had been in the Old Capitol Prison with him, Cloud, and slave William The plan was abandoned because Lincoln was well protected Conrad denied that the Confederate government knew of his plot except the military secretary of General Braxton Bragg:131 However, Seddon wrote an order for John S Mosby and Lieutenant Cawood to “aid and facilitate the movements of Capt Conrad”:119

Conrad’s courier Ruggles assisted John Wilkes Booth by giving him a ride on his horse shortly before Booth was killed Conrad was also a frequent visitor to Mary Surratt's tavern

Conrad was arrested by a landing party of the Union vessel Jacob Bell on the night of April 16, 1865 He was put aboard a train bound for a Union prisoner of war camp but managed to escape by jumping from the moving train after the soldiers guarding him fell asleep

In May 1887 Conrad wrote several articles about his activities as a spy for a Philadelphia newspaper He later reworked these into the 1892 autobiography A Confederate Spy: A Story of the Civil War, which he later revised into the 1904 work The Rebel Scout: A Thrilling History of Scouting Life in the Southern Army

Tenure at VAMC

There were many changes at VAMC under Conrad The college switched from semesters to the quarter system which remained in place until the late 1980s The college's new librarian spent $2,22996 entirely on books of fiction and poetry and a museum was opened For the first time ever, the school’s farm became financially successful

References

  1. ^ "The Conrad Years" Retrieved 30 May 2016 
  2. ^ "Presidents of Virginia Tech" Retrieved 30 May 2016 
  3. ^ ’Thomas Nelson Conrad Dead’, The Washington Post, January 6, 1905, p 10
  4. ^ Steers, Edward 2005 Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln University Press of Kentucky ISBN 9780813191515 Retrieved 29 June 2015 
  5. ^ a b c d Conrad, Thomas Nelson 1904 The Rebel Scout National Publishing Co 
  6. ^ http://wwwcollegiatetimescom/news/the-confederate-president-part-ii-the-spy/article_6b5b4af4-0967-11e7-9888-133ee4b2d2a1html
  7. ^ a b Furgurson, Ernest B "Thomas Nelson Conrad 1837–1905" Encyclopedia Virginia Retrieved 29 June 2015 
  8. ^ Cress, Joseph April 11, 2015 "Shadow of Suspicion: Dickinson College grads conspired to kidnap Lincoln months before assassination" The Sentinel Retrieved 29 June 2015 
  9. ^ Hatch, Frederick 2011 Protecting President Lincoln McFarland p 85 ISBN 0786463627 Retrieved 29 June 2015 
  10. ^ Furgurson, Ernest B "Teacher, Preacher, Soldier, Spy" History Net Retrieved 29 June 2015 
  11. ^ http://wwwcollegiatetimescom/news/the-confederate-president-part-ii-the-spy/article_6b5b4af4-0967-11e7-9888-133ee4b2d2a1html
  12. ^ "Life & Times of Virginia Tech Presidents" Office of the President of Virginia Tech Archived from the original on 2007-03-03 Retrieved 2007-08-15 

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