Joseph Henry's Letter to Asa Gray (April 3, 1851)

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 Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to as Asa Gray, a Harvard University botanist, April 3, 1851. In the letter, Henry discusses an accident that almost took Dr. Gray's life. He goes on to discuss the fledgling National Institute, a scientific organization, and the affairs of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Gray, Asa 1810-1888
  • Harvard University
  • National Institute
  • Joseph Henry Papers Project


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


3 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 8, pages 169-171 (Document 97).

Contained within

Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 8, The Smithsonian Years: January 1850-December 1853 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1998), 169-171

Contact information

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


April 3, 1851

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Botany
  • Accidents
  • Botanists


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2713 and SIA2012-2714 and SIA2012-2715

Physical description

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

Full Record

View Full Record