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Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH and CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated May 2, 1852.

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Item Description

Title: Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH and CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated May 2, 1852.

Author

  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887

Recipient

  • Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882
  • Marsh, Caroline Crane, 1816-1901

Source Document

Extent: 1 letter

Genre(s): letter

Note [Digital Version]

, Center for Digital Initiatives, University of Vermont Libraries

Type of Resource: text

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Permanent Link:

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Preferred citation

Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH and CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated May 2, 1852., Original located at the University of Vermont's Special Collections in the George Perkins Marsh Collection, filed by date., http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/item/sfbgpm520502 (accessed October 24, 2014)

Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH and CAROLINE CRANE MARSH, dated May 2, 1852.

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

Smithsonian Institution
Washington May 2' 1852



My dear Mr. and Mrs. Marsh

Your most welcome letter of March 3' & 14' arrived a day or two ago, and has been read and reread a dozen times. I had only to reject its extreme brevity, as a man in Constantinople who has nothing to do, might write more than four pages at a time, dont you think so? Still I fear I may not do much better, as I now write at night and shall probably finish the letter while asleep

I know you will rejoice to learn that the Board of Regents at their meeting yesterday, raised salaries of us assistants five hundred each; Jewett now has 2500. and I 2000. I hope next year they will bring mine up to his mark, and then I shall be satisfied. As to the occupation with clerical business, I fear we will never be able to get out of this. So much there is to be done, and so little money to do it with, that I fear we must ever be bearers of wood and drawers of water.

We are getting on well at the Smithsonian, although no commencement has yet been made upon the interior of the main building. The tower rooms will all be done in a few days; after which some plan of fire proofing will probably be adopted, and the whole rapidly hurried to completion. The active operations are progressing finely. Mr. Jewetts stereotyping promises well as he is commencing to work in earnest at the catalogue. I have ushered two new volumes of Contributions nearly through the press, besides some octavos. My grand plan of international exchange is working like a charm. The german periodicals and the letters of societies are filled with encomia upon -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- the "grossartigkeit" and all that sort of thing, of the Institution. I have accumulated a vast amount of matter to send off this spring, with our books, such as abstracts of census, maps of Railroads & canals, Congressional documents, Schoolcrafts book c. Last year you remember I made up 240 cubic feet, or 8000 pounds of books for Europe. This year the amount will probably be doubled. All the communication between scientific bodies throughout Europe and America, comes through us, and all concerned are loud in praise of the efficiency and dispatch of the system. Our scale of operations is on a vastly larger scale than Vattemares (the g's gentle Humbug), and is carried on in a strictly business like way.

Our returns from Europe even this year are already enormous. In the first quarter they considerably exceeded those for 1851. And the exchanges for vol. 2. have but just commenced. I wish I had you here to talk over the matter I send a printed list of our correspondents. You will rejoice to see Islands Stiftisbókasofn among them.

Natural History prospers likewise. No end to the accession of rich treasures: fish, flesh and fowl. Oh for time enough to develop them. By all means send me lots of Salamandrosus Manbus. I want him exceedingly. You must have several species of salamanders, some in water, some in land under logs c. (N.B. See printed directions enclosed). I wont give much for a live ostrich, but will give a bottle of first rate Scuppernong wine from N. Carolina, when you come back, for his skeleton. It would be a prize indeed. But I must have a camels head, at least, if not his whole -------------------------------- Page -------------------------------- skeleton. And what of Hyenas, Jackals, and the like, of which travelers speak. Are such fabulous? I fear me so; I want some dog skulls two; these I know abound. The fresh water fish you sent from old Nilus, was nice--and still nicerer, I have a book which tell me about them. Rüppel, on Nilotic fish. Send any different species of U[..] or Freshwater mussels, in alcohol, too. Much sorry for the [...] of alcohol. Shall I send more? or has the Sultan yet introduced the Maine liquor law.

Yes--I am glad you like the idea of writing that book. Collect plenty specimens, and you shall have a grand Nat. Hist. Appendix. You can make a travel as is a travel. Have you seen or read Hucs Travels in Tartary? The most interesting one about, until yours. He too traveled on Camels, but on the bactrian critter, with two humps & carrying 700 to 1000 lbs. Climate awful,--cold, sleet c. Wild oxen frozen up while crossing rivers. These are the animals for our western plains, if the Syrian species will not do, of which I have many doubts. The camel article to which you refer, I have not yet seen. I regret you did not send it to me: I would have made it into an article for the Patent office report, adding facts concerning the northern species. I have written for Patent Rep. a long article on the ruminating animals of North America.

I am getting very sleepy.--dont you perceive it? and must stop and say good bye. When are you coming home; we miss you day & night. I shant be sorry when some new President turns you out of office. Give thousands of love to Mrs. Marsh. You say nothing of her condition as to health.

Very truly yours

Spencer F Baird
Hon. Geo. P. Marsh
Constantinople
note:Mary will write a long letter soon. She sends very much love.

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