Joseph Henry Is Born in Albany, NY




Date: December 17, 1797


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Joseph Henry is born in Albany, New York to William Henry (1764-1811) and Ann Alexander Henry (1760-1835). Although Henry himself believed he had born in 1799, a record of his baptism shows he was born in 1797 (Register of Baptisms, First Presbyterian Church, Albany, New York). Henry was baptized in January of 1798. In 1846, Henry would become the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.


  • Henry, Ann Alexander
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Henry, William


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Engraving of the First Presbyterian Church of Albany, New York, where Joseph Henry was baptized, negative number SIA2012-3432.
  • Reingold, Nathan, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Albany Years, December 1797 - October 1832, vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972, p. 3.

Contact information

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


December 17, 1797


  • Genealogy
  • Secretaries


Albany (N.Y.)

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