Robert M. Patterson Letter to Joseph Henry (August 25, 1847)

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Letter from Robert M. Patterson, director of the United States Mint, to Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, August 25, 1847. In the letter, Patterson seeks Henry's expert opinion about the cause of a lightning strike to a church in Pennsylvania despite the fact that the buiding was equiped with a lightning rod.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Patterson, Robert M (Robert Maskell) 1787-1854
  • United States Mint


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-0457 and SIA2012-0458, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 7, pages 171-172 (Document 94).

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 9, Folder: 1 - August - September 1847
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 7, The Smithsonian Years: January 1847-December 1849 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1996), 171-172

Contact information

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


August 25, 1847

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Secretaries
  • Lightning
  • Letters
  • Lightning rods
  • Electromagnets
  • Church buildings
  • Meteorology
  • Pennsylvania
  • Electromagnetism




  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2922 and SIA2012-2923 and SIA2012-2924

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Color ; Size: 7 3/4w x 9 3/4h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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