The Papers of Joseph Henry


Dear Sir

The plan plan of publication of articles presented to the Smithsonian Institution has not been fully settled it will however most probably be as follows. The memoir presented for publication will be referred[B] to a commission of men of character and reputation and learned in the branch of knowledge to which the memoir pertains the name of the author being concealed until the decision has been given. Or the author may withdraw his memoir if the decision is unfavourable without making himself known.
If the commission decide that the memoir is an addition to the sum of human knowledge resting on original experiments observations, or researches, the article will be received for publication in the transactions and paid for out of the funds of the Institution.
It has been considered necssary to restrict the memoirs to be accepted to those which rest on original investigation particularly in the Physical sciences and to exclude all merely hypothetical or speculative articles because if this rule be not observed the Institution would be overwhelmed with the number of articles of the latter kind. Indeed we have already received a suficient quantity of material of the purely hypothetical kind to make quite a large volume.
Though this rule may exclude the admission of some articles of value yet its importance is so apparent to the Regents and councellors of the Institution that I doubt not it will be ridgidly adhered to.
The lecturers who[C] will be engaged are those to be called to Washington to deliver short courses during the session of congress. This however is one of the points not yet settled.
Accompayning this I send you a copy of the report on the organization of the Institution[2] by which you will see that many plans are proposed for carrying out the intention of the Donor but it must be recollected that the income is very limited and insufficeent to accomplish a tenth part of what is proposed.

with much Respect Your's &c

Joseph Henry
P.S. I do not think it forms any part of the present plan of the Regents to publish school books. JH Accompanying the letter I send you a copy of the Report on the organization of the Institution.
P.S. This letter was witten several weeks ago but as the ↑but was not sent at the time because↓ the place of your residence was not give ↑mentioned↓ in your letter ↑commu[nic]ations↓ I cound not send I have howev ↑since↓ learnd that your[D] letters were from Virginia.[3]
Draft, Henry Papers, Smithsonian Archives.
    [1] Unidentified.
    [2] Report of the Organization Committee of the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, 1847).
    [3] According to the outside address, Henry had originally addressed his letter to Diana Mills, Maryland. Diana Mills, Virginia, was a post-village approximately 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Richmond. J. Thomas and T. Baldwin, eds., A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer, or Geographical Dictionary of the World, 2 vols. (Philadelphia, 1858).
    [A] From outside address.
    [B] Altered from refered
    [C] Altered from which
    [D] Altered from the