Joseph Henry Seeks Support for Kane's Arctic Expedition

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Date: December 1, 1852

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Summary

First Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry and Coast Survey Superintendent Alexander Dallas Bache ask Navy Secretary John Pendleton Kennedy to support Elisha Kent Kane's proposed expedition to the Arctic. As a result, Kane is assigned to carry out the scientific work recommended by Henry and Bache with the assistance of a naturalist and an astronomer. The Smithsonian provides the expedition with apparatus for capturing and preserving marine specimens and for recording magnetic observations. Kane's observations are later published in volumes 10-13 of Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge.

Subject

  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Kane, Elisha Kent 1820-1857
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Kennedy, John Pendleton 1795-1870
  • United States. Secretary of the Navy
  • United States Coast Survey
  • Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge (Publication)
  • Arctic Expedition
  • National Collections

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Photograph of Elisha Kent Kane in Arctic gear is by an unknown photographer, c. 1855. National Portrait Gallery, image number NPG.2005.38.
  • Kazar, John Dryden, The United States Navy and Scientific Exploration, 1837-1860 (Ph.D diss., The University of Massachusetts, 1973); SR 1854, p. 92.
  • Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian for the year 1854, p. 92.
  • Joseph Henry and Alexander Dallas Bache Letter to John Pendleton Kennedy, December 1, 1852, document 249 in The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 8, The Smithsonian Years: January 1850-December 1853, Marc Rothenberg, et al, eds. (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1998), pp. 408-410.

Contact information

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

Date

December 1, 1852

Topic

  • Marine Biology
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Scientific apparatus and instruments
  • Astronomers
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Specimens
  • Magnetism
  • Magnetic fields
  • Naturalists
  • Arctic
  • Marine biology

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