Joseph Henry's Letter to Francis Dwight (March 3, 1845)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Francis Dwight, Secretary and Treasurer of the Executive Committee of the New York State Normal School at Albany, March 3, 1845. In the letter, Henry responds to a request he received from Dwight to recommend a candidate for a professorship in natural sciences at the Normal School. Henry details the qualities that the candidate should possess, including previous work and accomplishments. Ultimately, Henry names James Hall, a geologist and paleontologist, of Albany as the man he thinks best for the position.


  • Hall, James 1811-1898
  • Princeton University


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


The accompanying PDF contains SIA2012-3260, SIA2012-3261, and SIA2012-3262, which are pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 6, pages 244-246.

Contained within

  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 8, Folder: 14 - January-March 1845
  • Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 6, The Princeton Years: January 1844-December 1846 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1992), 244-246

Contact information

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


March 3, 1845

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Geologists
  • Paleontologists
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Natural History
  • Educators
  • Teachers
  • Natural history


Albany (N.Y.)


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2860 and SIA2012-2861

Physical description

Number of Images: 3; Color: Color; Size: 8 3/4w x 11 1/4h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

Full Record

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