All the Family I Have

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First Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry hired famed paleontologist Fielding B. Meek in 1858. Meek received no salary from the Smithsonian, but was given office and living quarters within the "Castle" building. He had no family, except his beloved cat, and few friends. In frail health during his last years, Meek spent winters in Florida. When he died in 1876, Henry administered Meek's estate and had the funeral held in the Smithsonian building.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Meek, Fielding Bradford
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Article includes drawing, "All the Family I Have," by F. B. Meek.

Contained within

Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly (Newsletter)

Contact information

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


Fall 1992


  • Secretaries
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • SI, Early History
  • Employees
  • Biography
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees

Physical description

p. 5

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