The Aviator : Planning a McConnell Memorial


The following correspondence between President Alderman and the family and friends of James McConnell began a few days after his death and continued past the erection of the memorial at the University of Virginia.

March 25, 1917

McConnell's brother-in-law, Mitchell D. Follansbee, writes to President Alderman, proposing to have some type of memorial to McConnell on the Grounds of the University. He also requests to the President to write to McConnell's parents to express condolences.

March 28, 1917

President Alderman responds sympathetically to Follansbee and agrees that some type of memorial should commemorate McConnell. Alderman mentions for the first time
Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor of Mt. Rushmore, as an artist who might be able to create,
" . . . something for us that would carry a spiritual and patriotic appeal to generations of youth . . ."

March 26, 1917

Telegram from T.S. Fuller to President Alderman, who would like to bury James McConnell in Charlottesville as an example of courage and ideals.

[No date] President Alderman assures T.S. Fuller that he will mention the idea of proper burial before the General Assembly.

March 28, 1917

President Alderman writes to the Hon. S.P. McConnell, James' father, expressing his pride and sadness about James' heroic death. He mentions the idea of a memorial to James on the University Grounds.

March 28, 1917

President Alderman writes letter to Sarah Rogers McConnell to express his condolences. He informs her that the faculty and students are eager to erect some type of memorial in McConnell's memory.