Science under Siege: Joseph Henry's Smithsonian, 1846-1865

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This work traces efforts of the Smithsonian's first Secretary, Joseph Henry (1797-1878), to make research the chief priority of the Smithsonian Institution. It places the struggle between Henry and opponents of his plan within a political context, and includes discussion of the impact of the Civil War on Henry's research program. The author draws on contemporary newspaper accounts and on documents gathered by the Joseph Henry Papers Project.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Joseph Henry Papers Project


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Ph.D. Dissertation

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


  • 1999
  • Civil War, 1861-1865


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United States

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