Portrait of Spencer Fullerton Baird, by Bell, William, January 10, 1867, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Portrait of Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887), second Secretary (1878-1887) of the Smithsonian Institution. Baird, an ornithologist, arrived in Washington in 1850 to become Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, a post he held for 28 years. Upon the death of Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian (1847-1878), he became Secretary. In this image Baird is facing more forward and only slightly looking to the right. Baird noted in his desk diary that William Bell came to photograph him on January 10, 1867..