Joseph Henry's Letter to William Hammond (November 3, 1862)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to William Hammond, Surgeon General of the United States, November 3, 1862. In the letter, Henry offers to prepare chloride of soda in the Smithsonian Institution Chemical Laboratory to be used as a disinfectant in both permanent and make-shift hospitals holding wounded Civil War soldiers in Washington, D.C.


  • Hammond, William Alexander 1828-1900
  • United States Surgeon-General's Office
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Chemical Laboratory


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


1 page scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, page 285 (Document 160).

Contained within

Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 10, The Smithsonian Years: January 1858-December 1865 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2004), 285

Contact information

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


  • November 3, 1862
  • Civil War, 1861-1865

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  • Medicine
  • Soldiers
  • Hospitals
  • Secretaries
  • Letters
  • History
  • Public health
  • Medical care
  • Medicine--History


  • United States
  • Washington (D.C.)


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 7w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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