Joseph Henry's Geological Tour along the Erie Canal with Amos Eaton

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Joseph Henry (1797-1878) participates in a group boat tour of notable geological sites along the Erie Canal, from the Hudson River to Lake Erie, led by geologist Amos Eaton. As assigned, Henry keeps a detailed journal on the geological features he observes. After completing the outgoing journey, Henry leaves the group to take a train back to Albany in time for a two-week visit to West Point Academy. During his trip home, he continues to record geological observations and collect specimens for Eaton. In 1846, Henry would become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Eaton, Amos 1776-1842
  • United States Military Academy


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Reingold, Nathan, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Albany Years, December 1797 - October 1832, vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972, pp. 133-55.
  • Moyer, Albert. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, pp. 41-44.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


May 2-31, 1826


  • Geology
  • Field Work
  • Field work
  • Field Notes
  • Geology--Field work
  • New York (State)


  • Hudson River (N.Y. and N.J.)
  • New York (State)

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