Joseph Henry's Letter to Charles Francis McCay (August 25, 1846)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Charles Francis McCay, a mathematician and professor at the University of Georgia, August 25, 1846. In the letter, Henry describes the outlines for his course lectures and syllabi. He talks about his exploration of psychology and the origins of knowledge, his interest in philosophy, and his desire to maintain his credibility as a man of all sciences.


Princeton University


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-3281, SIA2012-3282, and SIA2012-3283, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 6, pages 486-488.

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 8, Folder: 21 - July-September 1846
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 6, The Princeton Years: January 1844-December 1846 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1992), 486-488

Contact information

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


August 25, 1846


  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Science
  • Educators
  • Philosophy
  • Mathematicians
  • Teachers


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2896 and SIA2012-2897 and SIA2012-2898

Physical description

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

Full Record

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