Joseph Henry Experiments on Body of Executed Murderer

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Joseph Henry joins Princeton Professor of Anatomy and Physiology Samuel L. Howell and three of his pupils in performing experiments in galvanic induction with the body of Antoine LeBlanc, who had just been executed in Morristown, New Jersey. In 1846, Henry would become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Howell, Samuel Ladd 1787-1835
  • LeBlanc, Antoine


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Reingold, Nathan, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Princeton Years, November 1832 - December 1835, vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1975, pp. 90-96.
  • Moyer, Albert. Joseph Henry: The Rise of an American Scientist. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997, p. 162.

Contact information

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


September 6, 1833


  • Electricity
  • Electromagnets
  • Death
  • Physiology
  • Experiments
  • Electromagnetic Induction
  • Dead


  • Morristown (N.J.)
  • New Jersey

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