The Papers of Joseph Henry: January 1854-December 1857, The Smithsonian Years

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The documents in Volume 9 of The Papers of Joseph Henry trace the crisis faced by the Smithsonian's first Secretary, Joseph Henry (1797-1878), when he publicly clashed with and then fired the Smithsonian librarian, Charles Coffin Jewett, over the allocation of funds to various Smithsonian activities. This dispute was debated by the Smithsonian's Board of Regents, in newspapers across the country and, ultimately, in the United States Congress. During these years, Henry also accepted responsibility for the United States National Museum at the Smithsonian, a decision which would greatly alter the Institution's future course.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Jewett, Charles C (Charles Coffin) 1816-1868
  • Board of Regents
  • United States National Museum
  • United States Congress
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Includes photographs, notes on style and appendices. Work is extensively footnoted.

Contained within


Contact information

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




  • Secretariats
  • Controversies
  • Secretaries
  • Letters
  • United States Congress, Relations with SI
  • SI, Early History
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Scientists
  • National Collections
  • Museum publications


Volume 9

Physical description

l, 516 pages

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