Asa Gray's Letter to Joseph Henry (December 6, 1852)

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Letter from Asa Gray, a Harvard University botanist, to Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, December 6, 1852. In the letter, Gray informs Henry that he will be unable to lecture at the Institution because of his busy schedule. He writes that the Smithsonian's position as a scientific adviser to the United States Government is becoming more solidified, and that Henry should no longer be concerned about negative press about the Institution.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Harvard University


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-2721, SIA2012-2722, and SIA2012-2723, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 8, pages 414-416.

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 11, Folder: 10 - November-December 1852
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 8, The Smithsonian Years: January 1850-December 1853 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1998), 414-416

Contact information

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


December 6, 1852

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Government
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Botany
  • Politics
  • Press
  • United States--Politics and government
  • Botanists


United States


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2949 and SIA2012-2950 and SIA2012-2951

Physical description

Number of Images: 3; Color: Color; Size: 8 1/4w x 10 1/2h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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