Joseph Henry's Letter to Harriet Henry (July 14, 1848)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Harriet Henry, his wife, July 14, 1848. In the letter, Henry tells of his visit to inspect the dome of the United States Capitol Building. Henry's advice had been sought out by federal officials to analyze the dangers of lightning strikes to the dome.


  • Henry, Harriet A. 1808-1882
  • United States Capitol (Washington, D.C.)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-0454, SIA2012-0455, and SIA2012-0456, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 7, pages 358-360 (Document 195).

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 57, Folder: 13 - July-December 1848
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 7, The Smithsonian Years: January 1847-December 1849 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1996), 358-360

Contact information

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


July 14, 1848

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Secretaries
  • Lightning
  • Letters
  • Electromagnets
  • Meteorology
  • Domes
  • Electromagnetism


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2842 and SIA2012-2843 and SIA2012-2844

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Color ; Size: 8w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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