Joseph Henry First Mentioned as Candidate for Smithsonian Secretaryship




Date: August 19, 1846


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A letter to Richard Rush from Francis Markoe, Jr., is the first recorded mention of physicist Joseph Henry's candidacy for Secretary of the Smithsonian. Markoe, the Corresponding Secretary of the National Institution for the Promotion of Science, hoped to attain the Secretaryship himself. He expressed regret at Alexander Dallas Bache's selection to the Board of Regents because he expected Bache would exert his influence to secure the appointment for Henry.


  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Markoe, Francis 1801-1871
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Board of Regents
  • National Institution for the Promotion of Science


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Image is of Richard Rush, 1856, Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number mah-21419.
  • Rothenberg, Marc, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, vol. 6. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992, p. 482-485.

Contact information

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


August 19, 1846


  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • SI, Early History

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