Joseph Henry's Letter to A. A. de la Rive (November 24, 1841)

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Letter from Joseph Henry, then a professor at Princeton University and later first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to A. A. de la Rive, a Swiss physicist, November 24, 1841. In the letter, Henry describes the state of science in the United States, writing that scientists of this country are more concerned with popular science than original research. Henry also describes his work in electromagnetism.


  • La Rive, Auguste de 1801-1873
  • Princeton University


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


5 pages scanned from the edited transcript of the original version and notes in the Joseph Henry Papers Volume 5, pages 119-123.

Contained within

Reingold, Nathan, et al, eds., The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 5, The Princeton Years: January 1841-December 1843 (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1985), 119-123

Contact information

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


November 24, 1841

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Science
  • Physicists
  • Electromagnets
  • Scientists
  • Research
  • Electromagnetism


  • United States
  • Switzerland


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number

SIA2012-3546 and SIA2012-3547 and SIA2012-3548 and SIA2012-3549 and SIA2012-3550

Physical description

Number of Images: 5 ; Color: Black and White ; Size: 6 3/4w x 10h; Type of Image: Document ; Medium: Paper

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