Joseph Henry Testifies before British Parliamentary Commission

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After arriving in London for a European tour on behalf of the Smithsonian, Secretary Joseph Henry is invited to testify before the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction and the Advancement of Science, also known as the Devonshire Commission. Henry answers questions about the purpose and operations of the Smithsonian, and about the American educational system and federal support for science. His testimony is published in the Royal Commission's nine-volume report in 1872.


Henry, Joseph 1797-1878


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Marc Rothenberg, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11, January 1866-December 1878: The Smithsonian Years (Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2007), xxxiv-xxv, 303-04.

Contact information

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


June 28, 1870


  • Description and travel
  • American science
  • Secretaries
  • International relations
  • Travel--Europe


  • Great Britain
  • Europe
  • London, England

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