Joseph Henry's Letter to James Abram Garfield (May 3, 1870)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Ohio Representative James Abram Garfield, who later became the 20th president of the United States, May 3, 1870. In the letter, Henry asks Garfield to help petition the United States Congress for a small appropriation of funds to assist Major John Wesley Powell, a geologist and ethnologist, in completing a survey of the Colorado River.


  • Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902
  • Garfield, James A (James Abram) 1831-1881
  • United States Congress


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2011-2780 and SIA2011-2781, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 11, pages 291-292 (Document 142).

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 33, Box 7, Folder: Volume 19
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11, The Smithsonian Years: January 1866-May 1878 (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2007), 291-292

Contact information

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


May 3, 1870

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Legislators
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Geologists
  • Geology
  • Secretaries
  • Letters
  • Expeditions
  • Expenditures, Public
  • Surveying
  • Colorado River
  • Geological surveys


  • United States
  • Colorado River


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-6147 and SIA2012-6148 and SIA2012-6149

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Color ; Size: 8.17w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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