Joseph Henry's Letter to John Torrey (March 29, 1850)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to John Torrey, a botanist, March 29, 1850. In the letter, Henry discusses the death of a workman at the Smithsonian Institution Building, or "Castle," as well as the changes that will be made to the structure in regards to safety and fire prevention. He also writes about the lecture series sponsered by the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Torrey, John 1796-1873
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Joseph Henry Papers Project


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


2 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 8, pages 27-28 (Document 15).

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), 27-28

Contact information

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


March 29, 1850

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Fire prevention
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Workmen
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Botany
  • Death
  • Safety
  • Botanists


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-2719 and SIA2012-2720

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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