Circular on Birds of Middle & South America

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At the request of Assistant Secretary Spencer Fullerton Baird, Secretary Joseph Henry issues a circular directed to the Diplomatic and Naval officers of the United States, to invite their cooperation in obtaining a complete collection of the birds of Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies. It is noted that the Institution has no funds available to purchase specimens, but in return will provide copies of different publications, and if desired, specimens of birds or other animals from North America.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • United States National Museum
  • United States Dept. of State
  • United States Navy


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Engraving of Scissor-tail flycatcher, found in North and Central America, from "A Handbook to the National Museum under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington." New York: Brentano Brothers, 1886, p. 33.
  • Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 8. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1869, Article IX.

Contact information

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


December 10, 1863


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