Joseph Henry's Letter to Alexander Dallas Bache (September 6, 1846)

ID: SIA2012-2565 and SIA2012-2566 and SIA2012-2567 and SIA2012-2568 and SIA2012-2569

Creator: Joseph Henry Papers Project

Form/Genre: Document

Date: 1846

Citation: Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 6, The Princeton Years: January 1844-December 1846 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1992), 493-500

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Summary

Letter from Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Alexander Dallas Bache, a physicist, head of the United States Coast Survey, and later Smithsonian Institution Regent, September 5, 1846. In the letter, Henry discusses the plan for the new Smithsonian Institution. He writes about the difference between the increase of knowledge, and the diffusion of knowledge. Henry claims that there are hundreds of institutions around the country focused on diffusing knowledge, but none directly engaged in increasing it. He notes that no other civilized country in the world produces less original research than the US, and calls for the Smithsonian to be focused on gathering great men of science and furnishing them with the means to conduct research and perform experiments. Henry suggests that the need for diffusion of knowledge is something that should be partially considered and carried out through publications and lectures.

Subject

  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • United States Coast Survey
  • Princeton University

Category

Historic Images of the Smithsonian

Notes

The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-3284, SIA2012-3285, SIA2012-3286, SIA2012-3287, SIA2012-3288, SIA2012-3289, SIA2012-3290, and SIA2012-3291, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 6, pages 493-500.

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7053, Box 3, Folder: 18
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 6, The Princeton Years: January 1844-December 1846 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1992), 493-500

Contact information

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

Date

1846

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions

Topic

  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Publications
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Science
  • Physicists
  • Scientists
  • Societies
  • Experiments
  • Science--Experiments
  • Research
  • Science--Societies, etc

Place

United States

Form/Genre

  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2565 and SIA2012-2566 and SIA2012-2567 and SIA2012-2568 and SIA2012-2569

Physical description

Number of Images: 5 ; Color: Color ; Size: 7 1/2w x 9 3/4h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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