Table of Contents, Volume 8,
The Smithsonian Years: January 1850-December 1853

January-March 1850
Danger to Smithsonian in attempting too much--Bulletin to Alexander Dallas Bache: "repugnant" letter from John Locke, Andrew Johnson's attitude toward the Smithsonian (Doc. 4)--Visit to President Taylor--On use of scientist--Building collapse--Fatal fall of workman; Henry on his duties as secretary; success of lecture series; criticism of Smithsonian Building--Testimony in telegraph case--Death of John C. Calhoun.

April-June 1850
John Torrey warns of Louis Agassiz's "erroneous doctrines" (Doc. 22)--Charles Babbage on tree-ring analysis--Role of Smithsonian assistants--On optical Doppler effect--Samuel F. B. Morse's role in development of telegraph--Morse accuses Henry of "contemptuous arrogance" (Doc. 30)--Crystal Palace Exhibition--Elections in District of Columbia and progress in construction of the Smithsonian Building--Bache lambastes American Journal of Science.

July-September 1850
Building difficulties resolved--Spencer F. Baird appointed assistant secretary--To Bache: "I think the Institution will soon be fairly afloat" (Doc. 46)--Sudden death of President Taylor--Assistant Secretary Charles Coffin Jewett on Baird's appointment: "Prof. H. will not be continually suspicious & jealous of him as he has been of me" (Doc. 49)--Jewett's stereotyped library catalog and cataloging rules--Address to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Doc. 54)--Smithsonian publication policy--Storm warnings by telegraph.

October-December 1850
Introduction of William Jones Rhees--Complaint about Crystal Palace Exhibition--
Memorandum on improvement of the Mall--Consultations with Andrew Jackson Downing--Proposal for system of international exchange of scientific publications--Mediating dispute between Matthew Fontaine Maury and Bache--Edward Sabine on cooperation in meteorology.

January-March 1851
Relation between weather and disease--Lack of federal funding for Crystal Palace Exhibition--Asa Gray from England on Smithsonian matters--Report to George Perkins Marsh on Smithsonian affairs--Recommendation of Downing to President Millard Fillmore--Request for duty-free entry of publications into England--Expansion of Smithsonian meteorological network.

April-June 1851
George Robins Gliddon ridicules Henry and Smithsonian--Locke on his "offensive letter" to Henry (Doc. 106)--Collaboration with American Antiquarian Society--Intervention of President Fillmore on behalf of Downing--Death of James Henry--Arrangements with American Antiquarian Society about Increase A. Lapham's memoir--Experiments with Foucault pendulum--Report on Downing's progress.

July-September 1851
Defending Downing--James P. Espy's plan for producing rain--American exhibits at Crystal Palace Exhibition--Experiments on cohesion and on conduction of sound--Request for Henry's opinion of Foucault pendulum--Science instruction at United States Naval Academy--Remarks on Egyptian artifacts--Bulletin to Bache: distressing support among scientists for Henry M. Paine, AAAS "becoming powerful for good or evil" (Doc. 138)--Honorary doctorate from Harvard--Inquiry about 1839 letter to Morse--From Sabine on meteorological cooperation and international exchange.

October-December 1851
"I am constantly called upon to decide upon, not what ought to be given, but what can be" (Doc. 148)--From Bache in Maine: regret at Jefferson Davis's resignation from Senate, strategy concerning national academy of science, dispute with Maury over Gulf Stream, evaluation of Robert Hare--Bulletin to Bache: difficulties with Hare's donation of apparatus, progress on Mall improvements and Smithsonian publications--Appointment to commission to test marble for the Capitol Building--Letter to Marsh: response to Stephen A. Douglas's criticism of Smithsonian, Downing's improvements on Mall, speculations on presidential election--To Dorothea Dix on challenges of being secretary--Henry's version of 1848 meeting with Morse--Arrangements with Arnold Guyot concerning meteorological system.

January-March 1852
Danger from "internal disension" (Doc. 165)--Letter from disgruntled meteorological observer--Maury's meteorological plans--Consultation with Bache on meteorology--Policy toward misguided authors--Rumored resignation of James Carnahan, president of Princeton; plan for national university in Albany--Support for Espy's appropriation--Letter from Downing: "I will make the Capital `blossom like the rose'" (Doc. 175)--Mary E. Howard Schoolcraft's complaints about Harriet Henry--Request of Babbage for information on James Smithson--Request for army meteorological data--Sabine pledges Royal Society cooperation in international exchange system--Experiments with Espy on heated air.

April-June 1852
Experiments with blowing machine--Smithson's effects--Experiments on galvanic light; thoughts on crystallization--Proposal for analyzing light from comet--"Very important that I keep clear of all connection with the patent office" (Doc. 193)--To Hare on his apparatus and on Espy's meteorological theories--To Sabine on international exchange and meteorology--Offer to mediate dispute between Charles Wilkes and Gray--On auroras and shooting stars--Anguished letter from Leonard D. Gale--Strategy for mediating Wilkes-Gray dispute--To Lewis R. Gibbes on Smithsonian lectures and publications, and scientific instruments--Offer of chair of chemistry at medical department of University of Pennsylvania--Gray's appreciation for Henry's "friendly intervention" (Doc. 215)--Bulletin to Bache: public defense of Smithsonian program, commission to examine Robert Grant's light, method of observing solar prominences, work on sunspots used by Angelo Secchi without credit.

July-September 1852
Praise for Henry's defense of Smithsonian--Alonzo Potter's plans for University of Pennsylvania--"The present is almost a crisis in the history of the Institution" (Doc. 223)--Resolution of Wilkes-Gray dispute--Bulletin to Bache: investigation of Grant's light, Agassiz's complaints about Charles Girard, problems at Patent Office--Trip to New York to examine Grant's light--Offer of chair of chemistry at the University of Virginia--Attempt to resolve Agassiz-Girard dispute--Election as president of American Association for the Advancement of Education--Election as president of Metropolitan Mechanics' Institute--Appointment to the United States Light-House Board.

October-December 1852
Attacks on Smithsonian--Refereeing procedures--Democratic election victory--Observations on winds--Publication of meteorological data--Arguments for federal support of Elisha Kent Kane's Arctic expedition--Questions from meteorological observer--The Smithsonian as "scientific adviser to the Government" (Doc. 253)--The Smithsonian's international exchange system.

January-March 1853
On publication of foreign memoirs; argument for subordination of library and museum--Request for naval cooperation in procuring and transporting specimens--George Ord on museums--Geomagnetic observatory at Smithsonian--Letter from India.

April-June 1853
Request for Henry's opinion on "spirit rappings and table tippings" (Doc. 262)--"The programme is too broad for our income" (Doc. 264)--To Gray: "The support of a large library and an extensive museum is incompatible with the limited income of the institution" (Doc. 266)--Request for clarification of Henry's contributions to telegraph--Nomination as provost of University of Pennsylvania--Complaint about "fantastic and almost useless building" (Doc. 272)--Report on acoustics, heating, and ventilation of Capitol Building.

July-September 1853
Gale on contradictions in telegraph testimony--Bulletin to Bache: Departure of Edward Foreman and arrival of Rhees, rules for subordinates, progress of construction on Smithsonian Building--Revised plan for Smithsonian Building--Trip to Cleveland for AAAS meeting--Visit to Detroit and Chicago--Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's criticism of Henry and Smithsonian--AAAE meeting in Pittsburgh--Disavowal of candidacy for presidency of Princeton--Solicitation of James Hall's recollections of telegraph.

October-December 1853
Proposal for government purchase of Smithsonian Building--Reflections on presidency of Princeton--Questions on aurora borealis--Offer of endowed professorship at Princeton--Hall on Henry's early telegraph work--On spiritualism: "I am doomed to perpetual skepticism" (Doc. 299)--Request for navy appropriation for care of government specimens--Refereeing problems--On oversight duties: "I am responsible for all blunders" (Doc. 303)--Appointment to commission to examine marble for Capitol Building.

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