Joseph Henry Pursues Indian Artifacts for National Observers Told of New Policy Museum Via U.S. Army




Date: May 22, 1873


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First Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry writes to General William Tecumseh Sherman to request that soldiers stationed in the West be ordered "to secure and transmit to Washington specimens illustrating Indian life and warfare" for display in the National Museum. Henry notes that "a very complete assortment" of such objects had been acquired "from the bodies of the slain" at the Battle of Ash Hollow in 1855.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Sherman, William T (William Tecumseh) 1820-1891
  • United States National Museum
  • United States. Army


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Portrait of William Tecumseh Sherman, c. 1865, by Mathew Brady Studio. National Portrait Gallery, image number NPG.81.M175.D1.
  • Joseph Henry to William Tecumseh Sherman, document 213 in The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11, The Smithsonian Years: January 1866-May 1878, Marc Rothenberg , et al, eds., (Smithsonian Institution in association with Science History Publications/USA, 2007), pp. 458-459.

Contact information

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


May 22, 1873


  • Artifacts
  • Soldiers
  • American West
  • Historians
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Specimens
  • Ethnology
  • Warfare
  • Military
  • Indians of North America
  • Military art and science
  • Indians--Warfare


  • North America
  • Washington (D.C.)

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