Henry Accepts Secretaryship of Smithsonian

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Physicist Joseph Henry (1797-1878) writes to Benjamin B. French, Secretary pro tempore, informing him of his acceptance of the office of Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. His letter is read before the Board of Regents on December 14, 1846.


  • French, Benjamin B (Benjamin Brown) 1800-1870
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Board of Regents


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Rothenberg, Marc, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, vol. 6. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992, p. 574.
  • Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, volume 18, number 329. "Journals of the Proceedings of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 1846-76, Reports of Committees, Statistics, Etc." ed. by William J. Rhees. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1879, p. 17.

Contact information

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


December 7, 1846


  • Appointments
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Physicists

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