William Henry Dies




Date: October 17, 1862


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Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry's son, William Alexander Henry, born in 1831, becomes sick after returning to the Smithsonian from a vacation with his family. Will had returned to his duties as a clerk and copyist for the Smithsonian's library, but is struck by a "bilious attack," or jaundice. Shortly after the arrival of his parents and sister Mary, he dies at the Henry residence in the Smithsonian Building.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Henry, Harriet A. 1808-1882
  • Henry, William Alexander 1831-1862
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Photograph believed to be William Alexander Henry, c. 1860. Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number 82-3190.
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Vol. 10, January 1858-December 1865: The Smithsonian Years. Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2004, pp. xxxii-xxxiii, 283-84, 292-93, 305-06.

Contact information

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


October 17, 1862


  • Deaths
  • Biography

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