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Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 26, 1870.

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Title: Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 26, 1870.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887


  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882

Source Document

Extent: 1 letter

Genre(s): letter


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Type of Resource: text

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Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 26, 1870., Original located at the University of Vermont's Special Collections in the George Perkins Marsh Collection, filed by date., (accessed January 19, 2018)

Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated February 26, 1870.

Transcribed by : John Thomas, Ralph H. Orth and Ellen Thomson

TEI mark-up by : James P. Tranowski andEllen Thomson

Published by: University of Vermont. All rights reserved.

Publication Information

Washington, D.C. Feb. 26 1870.

My Dear Mr Marsh.

Your letter of the 31st of Jan. came to hand a short time ago, & we have at once taken steps to secure the documents you wish. Not hearing from the gentlemen mentioned by you, we have just addressed notes to them, recapitulating your desiderata & expressing our readiness to forward at once any thing they may be able to spare. I do not know any one who could be hired to make a business of gathering these documents for you; & if the gentlemen referred to, respond at all to your invitation, it will not be necessary to incur any expense in regard to it. You know it always gives me pleasure to do any thing to oblige so dear a friend, & one to whom I feel under so many obligations, in the kind consideration of a good life time.

Professor Henry wrote you, probably, in regard to the duty charged by the Italian government upon Smithsonian packages, stating that until the question could be settled, no further transmissions would be made by this Institution. We have had half a dozen boxes packed since June last, with just the matter you wish, & addressed to all kinds of public libraries in Italy, enclosing not only our own publications, but those of the government, such as the Agricultural Report, the Report of the Statistical Bureaus etc.; but of course, we cannot ourselves afford to pay the duties exacted on our last transmissions. If, therefore, the Italian government is at all interested in getting this matter, & any other -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- that we can obtain it will be just as well to decree that no duty shall be charged. Italy is the only country in the world where such exactions are made of us; Mexico, Brazil, Chili, & the smaller States of America generally voting unanimously to remove the restrictions on our exchanges. As I said before, until this matter is settled, we shall send nothing whatever to Italy; which means, not only a cessation of the receipt of the Smithsonian publications, but those of the government & of the learned establishments of America.

We shall soon commence making up complete sets of public documents, for transmission to the national libraries of the various countries of Europe; but, of course, Italy excepted for the present. Should you have occasion to communicate with the Institution on this or any other Smithsonian matter, please address your communication directly to Professor Henry. Any thing personal between ourselves, always send to me at 918, N.Y. Avenue; or even if addressed Washington City, simply, without mentioning the Smithsonian Institution, it will be brought to my house.

We have been having a very good time this winter in various ways, & have seen a great deal of the Edmunds & Miss Crane. We have become very much attached to all of them, & are especially pleased with Miss Crane, who wins upon us more as we know her better. Mary & Lucy are quite well & are also enjoying themselves. Charley Churchill & his wife have just left us after a visit of a couple of weeks. We expect Sewell Cutting here to-morrow. He never tires, nor his wife either, in sounding your praises, & especially those of Mrs Marsh.

The Smithsonian is flourishing & improving in its usefulness. Professor Henry has been quite ill, but is better. He talks -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- of visiting Europe for a few month for the benefit of his health. I am as busy as ever; in fact rather more so. Among other occupations for my idle hours is that of furnishing a monthly Chapter to Harper's Magazine, of new Scientific discoveries & announcements. It has proved to be quite a success. I wish I could have an opportunity to talk over various enterprizes & projects with you, & feel almost tempted to go & lobby for your removal from Italy & your forcible return to Washington. This, however, while "meat" to me, would be "prison" to you; & so, upon the whole I will not do it.

Very truly Yours,

S. F. Baird.
Hon. G. P. Marsh
U.S. Minister,

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