Collecting by Government Exploring Parties

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Summary

During 1854, collections come to the Smithsonian from the following expeditions: the U.S.-Mexican Boundary Commission; the survey of route for the railroad to the Pacific; the exploration of the coast of California; and the exploration of the La Plata. Private expeditions also furnish specimens. Assistant Secretary Spencer F. Baird writes to his mentor, George Perkins Marsh, that the natural history operations are expanding prodigiously, despite Secretary Joseph Henry's opposition to a museum as part of the Smithsonian.

Subject

  • United States and Mexican Boundary Survey
  • Pacific Railroad Expeditions

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1854, p. 37.
  • Spencer F. Baird Letter to George Perkins Marsh, May 6, 1854, Document 25 in, Rothenberg, Marc, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 9, January 1854-December 1857: The Smithsonian Years. Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2002, pp. 64-67.

Contact information

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

Date

May 6, 1854

Topic

  • Discovery and exploration
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Natural History
  • Territorial expansion
  • Interagency Relations
  • Museums
  • Museum exhibits
  • Natural history

Place

  • United States
  • America

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