Mahlon Dickerson's Letter to Joseph Henry (December 15, 1836)

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact
Request permissions Download image Print

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


Letter from Mahlon Dickerson, Secretary of the Navy, to Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, December 15, 1836. In the letter, Dickerson acknowledges Henry's work in the field of magnetism, and asks him to provide some topics of inquiry for the United States Navy's South Sea Exploring expedition to consider in order to further promote the research and work on the subject of magnetism.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Princeton University
  • United States. Secretary of the Navy
  • Joseph Henry Papers Project


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


1 page scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 3, page 131.

Contained within

Reingold, Nathan, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 3, The Princeton Years: January 1836-December 1837 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1979), 131

Contact information

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


December 15, 1836

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Explorations and Expeditions
  • Magnetism
  • Research


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1 ; Color: Black and White ; Size:6 3/4w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

Full Record

View Full Record