Trailblazer of American Science: The Life of Joseph Henry

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


Popular biography of Joseph Henry. Begins with short biography of Henry's grandfathers, William Hendrie and Hugh Alexander. Covers Henry's birth, early years, Albany and Princeton. Gives summary of the birth of the Smithsonian Institution, Henry's marriage and family life. Includes details of electrical experiments and electro- magnetic telegraph experiments, his relationship with Samuel F. B. Morse and Alfred Vail. Also includes recollections of Alexander Dallas Bache, Michael Faraday, Benjamin Franklin, and Louis Agassiz.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Morse, Samuel Finley Breese 1791-1872
  • Vail, Alfred
  • Franklin, Benjamin 1706-1790
  • Agassiz, Louis 1807-1873
  • Faraday, Michael 1791-1867
  • Hendrie, William
  • Alexander, Hugh
  • Alexander, Stephen
  • Henry, Harriet A. 1808-1882
  • Henry, Mary Anna 1834-1903
  • College of New Jersey (Princeton, N.J.)
  • Princeton University
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • United States Light House Board


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Includes photographs and drawings, including Henry's birthplace, Albany and Princeton, Alexander Dallas Bache, Samuel F. B. Morse, Alfred Vail, and many others. Many of these photographs are from the Smithsonian Institution Archives collection. Also includes index.

Contained within


Contact information

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




  • Telegraph
  • Electricity
  • Secretaries
  • SI, Early History
  • Science
  • Museums
  • Experiments
  • Science--Experiments
  • Museum publications
  • Biography


  • Albany (N.Y.)
  • Princeton (N.J.)

Full Record

View Full Record