The Papers of Joseph Henry


31. TO PETER BULLIONS[1]

My dear Sir

That All the screws of the Smithsonian Institution have not as yet been put in proper place and ↑[f]ully tightened is most true but↓ this ↑need↓ not surprise you when it is recollected that the plan of the ↑great↓ edifice itself has not been fully settled. I am however some what surprised to learn that you have not received the certificate of deposit of the books you sent to the Library of the Institution.[2] I saw them more than a month ago ↑several weeks ago↓ in the office of Mr French and I think it not improbabl that he has sent the certificate to your printer instead of yourself. Inorder however to avoid delay I enclose a certificate which you may fill up with the titles of the books for I beleive I may trust to your honesty thus far.
We are all well— poor fellow Stephen ↑poor fellow↓ has met with a sad loss and feels it very deeply ↑much↓↑He is a man of few words.↓ Motherin law has gone to live with him and appears quite contented with the change— Mrs Henry made me a visit of a bout two weeks duration during my stay in Washington. She could scarcely bear a longer seperation from her children. Should she live however until they are grown up and have become active members of society she will be obliged to make a sacrifice of feeling in this respect particularly if we may judge of the destiny of our ofspring by that of yours.[3]
I have been at Washington nearly all winter and have now returned to Princeton for the purpose of completing my course of lectures with ↑to↓ the Senior class. I have not as yet intirely severed my connection with Princeton ↑this Institution↓ and may perhaps give a short course of lectures ↑here↓ next year in college but of this I am not certain. It[A] will depend on the action of the Trustees of ↑the↓ college at their next meeting. My[B] object in thus retaining my connection with Princeton was twofold first that I might not too suddenly leave the Institution in the midst of a year before my course of lectures was completed and secondly that in case the affairs of the Smithsonian were not very inviting ↑promising↓ I might return to Princeton my former position.[4]
My plans inreference to the Smithsonian Institution have not been adopted ↑perhaps↓ as fully as I could have wished ↑expected though↓ we were obliged to make a compromise inorder to harmonize the conflicting opinion. As a ↑And a↓ calm review of however all the proceedings ↑thus far↓ of the Regents I see nothing at present to to prevent my going on for if my plans views have not been fully adopted I shall have less responsibility and the failure should it happen cannot intirely be attributed to me. The whole affair is at present quite new and all are anxious to be active in the management but I think the Regents will soon be tired of it and then betwen ourselves I hop to have more of my own way. Indeed were it not for two persons who had particular objects ↑to↓ attain I should have had all the arrangements to my own mind before the adjournment of the Board.[C]
I am so much engaged just now that I cannot give you a full account of the proceedings at Washington but I hope to see you during the summer and then to have a long crack with you.
I send you with this a copy of the Report of the committee of organization[5] and I have marked in the margin the several suggestions which form the parts of the plan proposed by myself. They were adopted by the committee and incorporated in their Report.

With much Respect

I remain as ever[D]Truly your Frend

Joseph Henry
William coming to Princeton Rev Dr Bullions
Draft, Henry Papers, Smithsonian Archives.
    [1] Professor of Latin and Greek at the Albany Academy and Henry's former colleague there. Henry Papers, 1:129n.
    [2] Approximately two weeks earlier Bullions had submitted copies of his books to the Library of Congress and Smithsonian library as part of the copyright deposit procedure. The Library of Congress had already acknowledged receipt of his package. Henry Papers, 6:594; Bullions to Henry, March 24, 1847, Henry Papers, Smithsonian Archives.
    [3] In his letter of the twenty-fourth, Bullions mentioned that four of his children no longer lived at home.
    [4] For Henry's relationship to Princeton while secretary, see Henry Papers, 6:557, 559, 597–598.
    [5] Report of the Organization Committee of the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, 1847).
    [A] Altered from it
    [B] Altered from my
    [C] Altered from board
    [D] Altered from evers