Joseph Henry First Mentioned as Candidate for Smithsonian Secretaryship, August 19, 1846, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, A letter to Richard Rush from Francis Markoe, Jr., is the first recorded mention of physicist Joseph Henry's candidacy for Secretary of the Smithsonian. Markoe, the Corresponding Secretary of the National Institution for the Promotion of Science, hoped to attain the Secretaryship himself. He expressed regret at Alexander Dallas Bache's selection to the Board of Regents because he expected Bache would exert his influence to secure the appointment for Henry..