Joseph Henry's Letter to Alexander Agassiz (February 6, 1874), February 6, 1874, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Letter from Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to Alexander Agassiz, a scientist and engineer, February 6, 1874. In the letter, Henry discusses his intention to resign as President of the National Academy of Sciences. He writes that his duties as Secretary of the Smithsonian, Chairman of the United States Light House Board, and a new appointment as a Trustee at the Corcoran Gallery of Art have left him little time to advance the mission of the Academy. Henry also discusses publishing the report on Brazilian fish, which had been collected during an expedition of Johann Baptist von Spix and Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, both German natural scientists, by Alexander's father, Louis Agassiz, a Swiss paleontologist, glaciologist, and geologist..