Letter from GEORGE PERKINS MARSH to MARY CHURCHILL BAIRD, dated March 1, 1847.

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Publication InformationWashington Mch 1 1847


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My dear Mary

On receiving yur husband's letter with the recommendations, I put them into the hands of Mr Pierce of the Senate, one of the Regents, and desired him to give them the proper direction. I have conferred with several other members of the board, & particularly with Mr Hilliard of Alabama, who saw Mr Baird's collection last summer & was much interesed in both it and him. I have also written to Mr Jewett, assistant secretary, who will have much influence, & when I see Mr Choate as I hope to do soon, I think I can prepare him without difficulty to sustain your husband.

Prof. Henry is very favourably disposed, & I think every thing

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looks well. I do not think the appointment will be made at present, which I do not regret, because I hope I shall be in a position to exert more influence next winter than now --

Mrs Marsh & Lucy are pretty well, though a little fagged with a hard winter's service. We shall remain here until the middle of March & perhaps till the 1 of April.

I will give Mr Henry the letter & certificate I received this morning and am with the sincerest respects to your husband & other friend as well as to yourself

Your old friendGeo P Marsh

P.S. I have several Danish & Swedish works on Nat. Hist. Among others Nilsson's Fauna [Sveciea?] 19 [...] with many coloured lithographies & description of birds c Would

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Mr B like to consult it

References in this letter:

Charles Coffin Jewett (1816-1868), a distinguished librarian from Brown University, was appointed senior assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1848. He and Joseph Henry were continually in conflict over the importance of the library within the Institution's mandate and he was fired by the Board in 1855. He later became superintendent of the Boston Public Library.

Rufus Choate Choate and Marsh attended Dartmouth at the same time and remained close friends. Together they represented the faction that wanted to use James Smithson's bequest to establish a great public library. A U.S. Senator and member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, Choate (1799-1859) was Charles Coffin Jewett's principal sponsor. When Jewett was forced to leave, Choate submitted his own resignation, making his objections public. In the ensuing uproar a House select committee was formed to investigate Joseph Henry's administration but Henry was ultimately exonerated

Sven Nilsson, Illuminerade figurer till skandinavisk fauna, med beskrifningar. 2 vols. Lund, 1829-1838.