Joseph Henry's Letter to Louis Agassiz (June 10, 1863)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Louis Agassiz, a geologist, paleontologist, and professor at Harvard University, June 10, 1863. In the letter, Henry describes the Smithsonian Institution's work in the subject of natural history, and the display and care for natural history specimens in the United States National Museum. Agassiz had established the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University in 1859. Henry notes his opposition to the Natinal Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Agassiz, Louis 1807-1873
  • United States National Museum
  • Harvard University
  • Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


4 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 10, pages 315-318 (Document 178).

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), 315-318

Contact information

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


June 10, 1863

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Geologists
  • Paleontologists
  • Secretaries
  • Natural History
  • Letters
  • Specimens
  • Museums
  • Exchanges, Literary and scientific
  • Natural history
  • Museums--Collection management


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-0044 and SIA2012-0045 and SIA2012-0046 and SIA2012-0047

Physical description

Number of Images: 4 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 7w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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