Joseph Henry's Letter to Samuel Foster Haven (October 19, 1847)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Samuel Foster Haven, librarian of the American Antiquarian Society, anthropologist, and archaeologist, October 19, 1847. In the letter, Henry asks for Haven's opinion of the work of fellow archaeologists Ephraim George Squier and Edwin Hamilton Davis. Henry was working with the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian, where he was appointed secretary in 1846, to publish Squier and Davis's memoir, "Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley," about prehistoric mound builders of North America. The memoir was eventually included in the first Smithsonian "Contributions to Knowledge" publication, which was printed in 1848.


  • Haven, Samuel Foster
  • Davis, E. H (Edwin Hamilton) 1811-1888
  • Squier, E. G (Ephraim George) 1821-1888
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge (Publication)
  • American Antiquarian Society


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


3 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 7, pages 210-212 (Document 115).

Contained within

Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 7, The Smithsonian Years: January 1847-December 1849 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1996), 210-212

Contact information

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


October 19, 1847

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  • Archaeology
  • Publications
  • Antiquities
  • Secretaries
  • Letters
  • Anthropology
  • Librarians
  • North America
  • Anthropologists
  • Archaeologists


North America


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-1026 and SIA2012-1027 and SIA2012-1028

Physical description

Number of Images: 3 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 7w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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