Joseph Henry's Letter to an Anonymous Recipient (February 6, 1837)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to an anonymous recipient, although it is suspected the letter was intended for Julius R. Ames, a lawyer in Albany, New York, February 6, 1837. In the letter, published in The Quill, the student newspaper of the Albany Academy, at which Henry used to teach, Henry details his trip to Europe including stops in London, Edinburgh, and Paris. He lists his primary intentions during the trip, which were to form personal acquaintances with European scientists, and to study modes of science instruction in Europe and the methods of research in different fields of science.


  • Albany Academy
  • Princeton University
  • Joseph Henry Papers Project


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


2 page scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 3, page 142-143.

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), 142-143

Contact information

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


February 6, 1837

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Voyages and travels
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Science
  • Lawyers
  • Scientists
  • Teaching
  • Research


  • Albany (N.Y.)
  • Paris (France)
  • Europe
  • London, England


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2704 and SIA2012-2705

Physical description

Number of Images: 2 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 6 3/4w x 10h ; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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