Letter from SPENCER FULLERTON BAIRD to GEORGE PERKINS MARSH, dated April 21, 1867.

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Publication Information13534Washington April 21. 1867

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Dear Mr Marsh

Your three letters all came to hand a few days ago, and I have to reply. That relative to J H Alexander I have given Prof Henry to send to his family Prof. H. says Mrs. Alexander is still blind, and that his children are doing quite well.

Much obliged for the stamps. I make them pay in various ways and I will be glad to have any you can save.

Thanks for the [...] about the exchanges. We are endeavoring to organise the system and will soon have more to say about it.

We have been crammed with Russian America of late and thought of nothing else much. It is said that Mr. Seward is negotiating for Vancouver island and British Columbia, nor would I be much surprised. I had to tell all I know about R.A. and according to newspaper accounts much more, as their report made

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me to say the greatest absurdities.

Mary & Lucy are still doing very well, especially the former. Her treatment in NY. at Dr Emmetts was of great benefit.

With much love to Mrs M. from us all I am

Spencer F Baird

Hon Geo P Marsh

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Congress will probably pass a resolution authorising the exchange of a certain number of full sets annually of documents and works published by the government, either for use of Congress itself or of the Departments thus including a large number of valuable works, the congressional series to be bound in the usual way. These are to be given in return for similar series of the European governments, and I write now to enquire whether there is any central authority of the Italian government to which application could be made and the publications of the Italian Government secured. We want for the Congressional Library here (Legislative, Juris[...], Financial, Statistical, economical Scientific, etc) published by the Italian government, and will expect to send all printings of the U. States. Can this be arranged, and how. We will if desirable forward free of charge to

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any office in Florence what we have and name some one to receive the returns. The U. S. Minister had perhaps better be the party to forward through State Department.

I have heard that the Italian Government publishes largely of all sorts of things, but have seen nothing

Congress has first appropriated 100,00 for the purchase of Col. Torres Library.

S. F. B.

References in this letter:

Trained as a physicist, Joseph Henry (1797-1878) was professor of natural philosophy at Princeton University where he conducted original research on electricity and magnetism. When the Smithsonian Institution was created, he was chosen as its first Secretary. From 1846 to 1878 Henry established basic policies and defined the scope of the Smithsonian's activities.

Russian founded the first permanent settlement in Alaska in 1784 and in 1799 granted a trade monopoly to the Russian American Company. The territory was sold to the United States in 1867 through the significant efforts of the Secretary of State, William H. Seward.