Joseph Henry's Letter to George Perkins Marsh (November 18, 1851)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to George Perkins Marsh, former Smithsonian Regent, United States Minister to Italy and environmentalist, November 18, 1851. In the letter, Henry discusses the ongoing work of the Smithsonian Institution, which had been increasing its library and museum holdings, but he complains about the high cost of the construction of the Smithsonian Institution Building, or "Castle."


  • Marsh, George Perkins 1801-1882
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Smithsonian Library
  • Joseph Henry Papers Project
  • National Collections


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 260-262 (Document 156).

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), 260-262

Contact information

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


November 18, 1851

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  • Architecture
  • Diplomacy
  • Environmental policy
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Ecology
  • Diplomats
  • Environmental protection




  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2716 and SIA2012-2717 and SIA2012-2718

Physical description

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

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