Joseph Henry and Alexander Dallas Bache's Letter to Jefferson Davis (June 24, 1853)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithonsian Institution, and Alexander Dallas Bache, a physicist, head of the United States Coast Survey, and Smithsonian Institution Regent, to Jefferson Davis, United States Secretary of War. In the letter, Henry and Bache respond to a request from Davis that they examine the plans for the extension to the United States Capitol Building proposed by Montgomery C. Meigs, a captain in the Army Corps of Engineers. Henry and Bache write that they intend to submit a full report at a later date, but that they approve of Meig's plan.


  • Davis, Jefferson 1808-1889
  • Meigs, Montgomery C (Montgomery Cunningham) 1816-1892
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers
  • United States Coast Survey
  • United States Capitol (Washington, D.C.)
  • United States. Secretary of War


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 449-451 (Document 274).

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), 449-451

Contact information

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


June 24, 1853

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No restrictions


  • Architecture
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Physicists
  • Reports


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-3437 and SIA2012-3438 and SIA2012-3439

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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