START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Group Discussions
Mary Henry and Her Civil War Diaries
2 months ago

Mary Henry:  Eyewitness To The Civil War  
Mary Henry, Daughter of Secretary Henry, by Unknown, c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3258.

Mary Henry, Daughter of Secretary Henry, by Unknown, c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3258.


“We went up into the high tower to see the troops pass over into Virginia.” Mary Anna Henry (1834–1903) wrote this line in her diary on July 16, 1861. Mary Henry was the daughter of Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. She lived with her family in the Smithsonian Institution Building, or “Castle” on the National Mall in Washington, DC, from 1855 to 1878. During the Civil War, although DC remained the capital of the Union, from the Castle Mary could see the Confederate States of America. On the border between two countries at war, Mary wrote about events in the city over the course of the entire Civil War.

Born in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1834, Mary Henry was the second child of Professor Joseph Henry and his wife, Harriet. She had one older brother, William, and two younger sisters, Helen and Caroline. Upon his appointment as Secretary in 1846, Joseph Henry was promised accommodations. After the Smithsonian Institution Building was completed in 1855, a suite of eight rooms was constructed on the second floor of the East Wing, and the Henry family moved in. They remained in these apartments until Joseph Henry died in 1878.

As a Washington DC resident, Mary Henry had an insider’s view of the country, both on the path towards and during the Civil War. Her diaries (see excerpts below) detail events and the mood in the city. The entries cover the entire span of the war, from watching debates in Congress before the Southern states seceded to the death of President Lincoln. She records news reports of major battles and personal observations of troop movements and preparations.
 

Living in Washington also allowed Mary to become acquainted with social, political, and military leaders. In the Castle, the Henrys entertained generals and their wives, and heard firsthand accounts of the war’s progress. Mary met and observed soldiers in the streets of the city and the make-shift hospitals, which had been set up with the help and expertise of her close friend Dorothea Dix. Some of her friends even fought, or had family who fought, for the Union.

The diaries also contain descriptions of events at the Smithsonian Institution. Joseph Henry welcomed many scientists and scholars into the Castle, and Mary was often present for these visits and discussions. She also recorded the fire in the Castle in January of 1865, which destroyed many original Joseph Henry and James Smithson records.

Mary was active in her community, typical for a young woman of her upbringing. She worked with the News Boys Association and was a member of the Presbyterian Church where she taught Sunday School for children. She also volunteered to care and hold benefits for wounded soldiers recuperating in hospitals throughout the city during the war. Mary and her sisters were well educated for young women of their era. Not only were they taught the domestic arts, they were also tutored in the visual arts, language, and music.

Mary even had an artist’s studio in the East Range of the Smithsonian Institution Building, although she confessed, “I had no talent.”

Although she left the Castle in 1878, for the remainder of her life Mary continued to be a prominent citizen of Washington, promoting the significance of her father's work as a scientist. While on an annual trip with her sister to Europe, Mary died in Seville, Spain, on April 10, 1903, at the age of 69.


http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/mary-henry-eyewitness-civil-war

Battle of Gettysburg
2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Gettysburg  - July 1863 - Page 1

June 30th Tues[day]. Various rumours are afloat today but it is difficult to know what to believe. The Rebels at Rockville seem to be a body of cavelry under Gen Stewart on their way to join the main body of the army which is supposed to [be] concentrating some where near Gettysburg. Paid a visit to Prof Matill in his room this evening & watched him make a casting of a South American idol. Father read Chalk on the war after tea. He likes his views very much.

July lst. Wed[nesday]. Mr & Mrs. Peale & Mr. Welling spent the evening with us. In speaking of improvements which may be made in the city- Father said when he first came here he had taken great interest in the matter & had made great efforts for carrying out of certain plans for beautifying the city but met with so little encouragement from the mean self interested motives & petty party spirit of men in office that he became disgusted. It was through his influence however that the range of parks from the Capitol to the river were left open & so many of the triangular spaces along Penn. Av. fenced in & planted with shrubbery.

Mr. Peale in speaking of the war thought we had the rebels now completely in our power. If Government were to intrust him with our armys he thought he could surround & completely destroy them without the slightest hope of escape. Father without meaning to be personal to Mr. Peale told an amusing anecedote of speaking of 

Mary Henry Diary, Gettysburg - July 1863 - Page 2

the genius of Shakespere said he did not think him at all remarkable he could himself write as good plays "if he had a min to". They said "if you had a mind to."

Harrisburg is still safe troops are rapidly arriving for its protection. Six bridges have been burned upon the Northern central railroad.

[July] 2nd. Thursday. Went to Mrs. Peale's this afternoon to meet Father & Mother Miss Dix was there. She seemed to be in good spirits & was playfully unbraiding Father for not speaking to her in the streets. She said some of the rebels had been in the city on Monday night attending the theatre & others has passed the evening with their friends. Saw Gen. Casey went to his boarding House to enquire if his daughter has gone & found him sitting on the porch reading a book of Hebrew prayers.

[July] 3rd. Exciting news to night, a great battle yesterday between the combined armies of Lee & Meade near Gettysburg our arms said to be successfull but two of our Generals Reynolds & Paule killed. Gen. Rosencrans has driven the enemy quite out of Tenn. after a bloddy battle at Tullahoma.
[July] 4th. The day unusually quiet. Went to the hospital in the evening the men had supper given them in honour of the day. A band discoursed sweet music for some time in front of the wards. Mary & some of the other nurses passed the evening with us. 

Mary Henry Diary, Gettysburg - July 1863 - Page 3

July 6th. Mon[day]. The fighting at Gettysburg commenced on Wed. & continued on Thursday & Friday. The loss on both sides has been terribly severe but the Rebels are in full retreat. Their bridge at Williamsport has been destroyed & the rain has swollen the river so that the fords must be impassable. Their retreat seems to be cut off. Gen. Lee in this move has evidently trusted too much to the incapacity of Hooker.


continued......

2 months ago

[July] 8th. Vicksburg is ours. I passed last night with Mrs. Peale. The President & Secretaries were serenaded & speeches were made by the dignitaries in honour of the recent victories. We heard the distant music & shouts & Mr. Peale reported the speeches. The President commenced his with the stupendous announcement that the 4th of July was a remarkable day with the reasons for its being so considered & ended with the elegent expression that on this particular 4th the Rebels has "turned tail & run." Mr. Sewards speech was fine. 700 guns have been fired to day for the taking of Vicksburg.



http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/battle-gettysburg-july-8-%E2%80%93-july-30-1863

Visit To The Navy Yard To See An Ironclad In November 1863
2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Ironclad - Nov 20, 1863 - Page 1

[November] 20. Went to the Navy Yard to see one of the Monitors there for repairs. She is a flat boat only a few inches above the water with nothing to be seen upon her iron plated deck but a steam pipe a tall pipe for ventilation a few little holes here & there for the same purpose which are tightly closed however when the boat is at sea, and a round turret. We climbed into this through a small opening & saw her great 

Mary Henry Diary, Ironclad - Nov 20, 1863 - Page 2

guns. One of them is a monster the other some what smaller but large enough to make me shiver at the thought of the damage she might do. The turret can be turned in any direction. 18 men are required to man the guns how they can find room in the confined space round them I cannot imagine. The greatest danger they are exposed to is the loosening of the bolts fastening the iron plates which are sometimes driven into the turret by the violent concussions causing great damage. The quarters for the officers & men are of course entirely under water they seem to be quite comfortable although very small. It is very difficult to ventilate the vessel. The pipe for that purpose we observed on deck is a new invention. We were shown an engine for pumping in the air through the opening in the top of the Turret. After leaving the Moniter we went on board of another vessel, which has been awaiting Government orders for threeweeks months. She has an apparatus for heating the steam after it comes from the boiler & so a greater amount of power is produced from the same amount of fuel. Capt Blake, her commander, received a sword for gallent conduct on board the Hatterras which was sunk by the Privateer Alabama. In the evening Miss Felton, the Misses Blagden , Mr. Welling Mr. Harris &c took tea with us. 


http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/visit-navy-yard-see-ironclad-november-20-1863
Southern Army Approaching the City of Washington, July 10-14, 1864
2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 1

July 10th Sunday. Several persons were called out of church this morning exciting our curiosity and on coming out after service we were startled by the intelligence that a large body of Southern troops 40 or 50,000 in number were marching on Wash[ington] They had thrown the city of Baltimore into a state of intense excitement by their near approach---had cut the northern central railroad & burned Hagerstown. These reports have all been confirmed but there are various conflicting opinions entertained in regard to the supposed object of the enemy whether a raid, merely for purposes of plunder or a demonstration on Wash. to call off Gen. Grants troops from the vacinity of Petersburg is still a matter of conjecture. The quartermaster's clerks have all been ordered to report themselves for service in the defence of the city.
[July] 11th Mon[day]. The city in a state of intense excitement. Southerners said to be at Rockville & skirmishing with our pickets. After cutting the Northern central R.R. yesterday, they proceeded across the country cutting the telegraph wired on the Phil & Harford turnpike & burning the residence of Gov. Bradford about 5 miles from Baltimore--this was in retaliation 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 10

with alacrity for it. He then asked for lamp wick & cotton cloth which she also gave him. What do yo want to do with these things she asked, "Burn your house madame," was the cool reply. The poor woman was obliged to remove her property as best she could, losing most of it. Ruins of other burned houses, felled trees, & abatties fortifying the road next met our view until we came to a barricade completely across the road which compelled us to turn to the right & go through a field where we encountered rifle pits dug by our men. Beyond this we passed several houses burned or sacked before we came to M[ontgomery] B[lair]'s beautiful residence. The fence was torn down the gateway only remaining. As we drove through the grounds, we found various traces of the presence of the Southerners. The smouldering ashes of their camp fires, broken boxes, canteens &c., while innumberable poultry feathers testified to the havoc which had been made among the fowls. I doubt which a cock crow will be heard there for months. 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 11

The house we found guarded. It is delightfully situated, the avenue leading to it winding through rows ï‚­a grove of magnificant forest trees, which completely hid it until a turn in the road brought it to view. Some of the servants were folding up a carpet & packing some articles at the side of the house. A number of carriages containing visitors were at the front. We went round to the back entrance picked up some hard tack, a song book, a pack of playing cards & some other trifles left by the rebels. We drove through the grounds to a lovely spring & then passed out into the highway again by a different road from that we came. Every where we found signs of the rebels, tin cups, ashes &c. As we came on to the turnpike we saw some persons in a grove opposite to us. We joined them & found some of the rebel graves. Several large square pits filled with straw had been prepared for the burial of others 

continued......



This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 9:59
2 months ago

but were left unfilled in the hurry of departure. Further up the road we found some of the rebel wounded under three or four 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 12

miserable tents. In the first of these we found the Surgeon. A fine looking Off[icer] who had been left in charge of them. His frank, noble undaunted bearing interested us greatly. We asked if he was a prisoner. He said he thought he ought not to be considered such as had volunteered to remain with the wounded. His dress was rough & worn but he proved an exception to the rule that a taylor makes a gentleman. We asked if they had food. He answered proudly enough had been left to supply their wants up to that time. In the next tent two poor fellows lay shot through the head. One seem to be dying. He lay with his eyes closed breathing heavily. His features were delicate & regular & his forehead where the Sun had not reached it as fair as a girls. They both lay on the ground with only a little hay under them. A bright looking little fellow was switching off the flys. We asked him if he had enough to eat. Yes he answered merrily we always have that aren't you most tired of the war up here. 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 13

We left the two poor unconcious fellows with heavy hearts. There were 8 or ten in the next tent- one badly wounded in the leg but looking happy & contented as he lay on the grass switching away the flys with a spray of leaves. Outside the tent was a merry little Officer, one of those who had volunteered to take charge of the wounded. He cut off his rebel buttons for us & when we objected said with a laugh he would capture some union ones. "How long do you think it will take to make me a good union man," he asked of a bystander. A great while I should think said the person addressed as you say you would shoot your own Father were he on this side. Near the next tent a poor fellow was pouring water over a wound in his head; by him another of the volunteer nurse. He said he had remained because he could not leave his Lieut. & asked us to go into the tent to see him. He was lying on a blanket with clean linen & shaved a strong contast to the his appearance in strong contrast 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 14

with his surroundings.
His companions were dirty enough. Their uniforms were all dirt color then whatever they might have been originally. On our way home we visited a house which had been riddled with balls from the Fort. Some rebel Sharp shooters had been stationed here & protected by a pile of stones at the corner of the house one of them had picked off an Officer. It was afterwards occupied by our troops. Our rifle pits extended from the house to the road a distance of about 40 ft. They consisted of holes dug in the ground with a slight embankment of earth in front.
An Englishman called in the evening had also been at the scene of conflict. Had found upon the walls of one of the houses he visited numerous rebel inscriptions. On a marble top table the only article of furniture left in the parlor was inscribed, "This house is sacked in retaliation for the many homes made desolate in Virginia." On one 

continued......



This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 10:02
2 months ago

of [the] bedroom walls "our complements to the ladies Sorry not to find them 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 15

at Home." A note picked up on the stairs contained an apology & regrets of the Officer in charge to the young lady of the house for the destruction of her wardrobe. A music book lay uninjured & beneath some lines addressed to my Mother in Heaven was written "Sacred to an abser orphaned rebel. The following is the purport of a letter addressed to the President found in the yard.

Dear Uncle Abraham--
We like the way you fight-- we hope you will be reelected.
We have come this time to show you what we can do we will return & give you another lesson. We have inlisted for 40 years or the war. Yours
The biggest rebel in the T country 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 2

for the burning of Gov. Fletchers  (of Vir.) house by Gen Hunter. At Magnolia Station about 18 miles from Baltimore the bridge over Gunpowder Creek has been destroyed. 2 P.M. Mother just in from a shopping expedition. Says we are surrounded by rebels - city filled with refugees from the country, coming in with wagons filled with household effects. Rebels fighting at Tenally Town.

4 P.M. Mr. Gill brings news of the closer approach of the enemy. Mr. Shaw has come to offer his services in case they may be needed in defence of the Inst--Says the rebels are attacking Fort Mass. on Seventh St. We are going to the top of the high tower. (Top of the Lower) The city lies before us peaceful & beautiful in the rays of the setting sun. The broad river lost in the distance by a cloud of mist hanging low on the horizon is dotted here & there with boats two of which have moved with stelthy eager motion into the port of the Arsenal. We are told they are laden with troops. Dr. Hamlein & others have joined us. A jet of smoke rises curling off into the 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 3

rose colored clouds, disappearing & appearing again marks the scene of the conflict if there is any. Mr. De Bust who is looking through the glass reports signals from the top of the soldier's Home. We look & see the signal maker with his flag. A body of colored troops are moving down 12th we watch them as they move slowly along, their wives & little ones crowding the pavements. The sun is sinking lower now & sheding its last beams over a scene of such quiet beauty it seems to mock our excitement. The shadows of the towers strech longer & longer over green pasture below us. Gen Hamlin tells now if to night will the attack be made. Our hearts beat quicker. We look towards the distant Capitol the white house & wonder if it possible they can be in danger. But the little jets of smoke curl up lazily as before. The sun has gone down. Gen Hamlin rises to go, we follow one by one.
10 P.M. Have been in the city every thing quiet & orderly. The rebel force estimated at 45,000. Gen Blair's house


continued.....

2 months ago

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 4

burned.
12th [July] Tuesday. Firing at 5 o'clock in the morning communication with Baltimore cut off. Firing again at 1 o'clock. nothing known. Went to drive in the afternoon with Mr. Gill went to terminus of 14th & 7th Sts. Driving first out Seventh we came to Campbell Hospital where at the top of a hill we were stopped by a man on horseback who forbade our going further. A number of people had collected here to see if anything could be seen or hear if any news was afloat. We retraced our steps & crossing over to Seventh street encountered the President coming into the city from the soldier home in an open barouch surrounded by a body guard of horsemen. Just beyond the college we were stopped as before & obliged to return.
[July] 13th Wed[nesday]. 11 A.M. No certain news--Rebels said to be retreating.

2 P.M. News of the retreat of the enemy confirmed. (Evening) went to drive with Father. Passing the railway yard near the Inst. saw it filled with engines. All 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 5

rolling railway stock had been sent to Alexandria by order of the President when the city was supposed to be in danger but had been sent back as rebels are said to be at Falls Church. Driving out 14th st we encountered about 75 prisoners escorted by mounted Officers. Their butternut dresses were soiled & torn but they seemed brave & undaunted & many of them were exceedingly fine looking. The tall Virginian ï‚­amused me he moved sturdily alone in dignified disdain without one look of the curiousity indulged in by his companions. We encountered no other war indications, until we came to the hospital surrounding Columbia College. The poor invalids were enjoying the cool evening air lining the banks on each side of the road. One or two pale sad young faces excited my warm sympathy, they looked so much in need of home kindness & affection. Father nor we encountered the vedettes & were obliged to return. There were about 10 soldiers placed at the side of the road with two stand of arms stacked in front of them. One of the men came forward to speak 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 6

to us. He told us it was certain the rebels had retreated. Father said he was surprised to learn there had been quite a severe battle in the neighborhood. Oh no said the man only a skirmish."But we lost 300 men," said Father. "Oh, that is nothing," replied the man, "we don't consider that anything of a battle these days." Life has grown sadly cheap within the last few years. Turning down a side road, we found a soldiers station to guard a foot path across the fields further on another station upon a cross road. We were not molested again however until we came to the toll gate on Seventh St. Here we were told by a fine looking young Officer that the rebels had retreated toward the Potomac & our troops had gone to Tenally Town to endeavor to intercept them. The vedettes on Seventh St. road were much further out than last evening. On our return Mr. Bates called said the Southerners had greatly enriched themselves by the raid. [They] had carried off not only cattle & money but men & impressed them in the Southern army. 

continued......

2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 7

They certainly managed the affair well. Hagerstown was compelled to pay $20,000 to purchase her safety. The town was not burnt as reported. Some fears are entertained that the force of Southerners which alarmed us will unite with those at Falls Church & attack us from the South. Our fortifications are too strong in that direction to be taken.

[July] 14th Thurs[day]. The Blagdens here this morning. They live so near the scene of conflict we had felt very anxious about them. The first they knew of the state of affairs was the news which startled us all on coming out of church on Sunday. On riding home they saw an ambulance & some riders coming down the avenue & supposed the family were leaving but on a near approach found the party consisted of Col. McCook & staff in search of a place to establish headquarters. Numbers of our Union soldiers came to them during Mondy & Tuesday for food & drink but they suffered no especial inconvenience except from the fear 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 8

of losing their horses. They visited the scene of action & gave us a great desire to do so. Mary picked up a diary of one of the rebels who was interred while they were present. One poor fellow had been buried so hasitly his feet protruded from his grave. The nurse of her little brother whose husband was in the employ of Mr. Blair ï‚­& now a Capt in the Army told them the rebels had entered her house burnt & torn her clothes before her face in retaliation they said for what her husband had probably done in the South. Took all the food she had for her children & then told her they would fire the house. She was leaving it when Breckenridge rode up & exclaiming indignantly at the brutality of the men ordered them from the premises & placed a guard there so that she should not suffer further molestation. Her little sons were much attached to a small donkey owned by Mr. Blair & left in their charge which had been seized by the rebels this they asked Mr. Breckenridge to restore to them. He did so but it was 

Mary Henry Diary, Southern Army - July, 1864 - Page 9

afterwards seized again by, the rebels declaring it was old Blair's donkey & they must have it. Much of Mr. Blair's furniture was destroyed before Breckenridge could prevent but he succeeded in saving private papers & silver which were carefully packed & sent to a place of safety with a card saying "for the sake of old friendship." Breckenridge had enjoyed Mr. Blair's hospitality while planning a duel in the vacinity & had been treated with great kindness. At the house of Mr. the[y] found devastating traces of the rebels. The furniture was entirely destroyed and the yard strewn with letters of the most private & affectionate nature.

At 2 P.M. we started to view for ourselves. The first mark of the recent troubles we encounter near Fort Mass. A woman stood disconsolately ï‚­by the side of the road near ï‚­the remains of a house which had been burned. We asked her if she had suffered by the raid. She pointed to the ruins and told us that had been her home. A Union Officer came to her & asked her for some Kerosine oil. Suppose it was needed for the Fort she went 


http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/southern-army-approaching-city-washington-july-10-14-1864

Fire in the Smithsonian Institution Building, January 25, 1865
2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Fire - Jan 1865 - Page 1

1865
Jan.25th I record in my journal tonight one of the of the momentous and saddest events of lives – the burning of a large portion of the Inst. The fire originated in the insertion of the pipe of a stove which had been put up in the picture gallery into an air chamber in the wall instead of a flue. The man in charge had been told to be particularly careful and Father had inquired of several times if he was sure all was safe. The fire must have been smoldering several days but did not break out until yesterday shortly after three o'clock. I was sitting reading in the Library reading and surprised at the sudden darkening of the room went to the window and finding a thick cloud of smoke or mist obscuring the view I hastened from the room to discover the cause. One of the gentlemen from the Inst. met me saying "the building is in flames you have but five minutes to save your property." We immediately went to work packing books, etc. first clothing and then Father's library. The house was soon filled 

Mary Henry Diary, Fire - Jan 1865 - Page 2

26 Jan 1865
with people. The furniture was soon removed and placed under military guard outside of the Inst. We were soon informed that our end of the building was no longer in danger so we stationed ourselves at one of the windows to watch the progress of destruction. Truly it was a grand sight as well as a sad one the flames bursting from the windows of the towers rose high above them curling round the the ornamental stone work through the archs and trefoils as if in frill appreciation of their symatry(sp.), a beautiful fiend tasting to the utmost the pleasure of destruction. The capping of the square tower near us soon fell filling the air with smoke & cinders. Father(sp.) on the highest tower still stood mantled with flames while above it the anemometer turned, steadily recording the wind wh. fanned? into greater fury the fires beneath -- faithful in its dumb creation to the last. Thousands of spectators had col 

Mary Henry Diary, Fire - Jan 1865 - Page 3

Jan 1865 

lected in the grounds and a body of men kept mounted guard around the building driving them back as they approached too near. As the fire mounted to the upper room of the tower where Fathers papers were kept it was very hard to see them come floating down to feel that in the space of an hour was thus destroyed the labor of years. When the east end of the Inst. was pronounced entirely out of danger the furniture was restored and everyone except the inhabitants of the building ordered to leave. A military guard was placed at the door to prevent intrusion and in our carpetless disorder rooms we gathered to learn the extent of our calamity – numerous friends came in to offer sympathy and assistance and to urge us to leave the dismantled house for the night but we prefer remaining as the fire was still burning and our property was not entirely free from danger. Father & Mr. Rheese escaped very narrowly. The roof of 


continued.......

2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Fire - Jan 1865 - Page 4

1865 Jan
the office fell only less minutes after they left. They had time to save very little all the recorded letters of the Inst. The report almost ready for the press &c. were destroyed A drawer of articles on meteorology collected for a number of years by Father perished & observations & reflections of his own was destroyed. They were writing in the Office when the crackling of the flames above them warned them of the danger placing cloths over their mouths they endeavoured to obtain the papers of value but were nearly suffocated by the smoke. We are in some what better order today but are wearied out with the effort to restore out property to proper places. My one great effort was to preserve Father's books. If we had left them upon the shelves they would have been uninjured as it is. I am afraid many of them are lost.
26th Another busy tiresome day has passed in the endeavor to produce order out of confusion. We find 

Mary Henry Diary, Fire - Jan 1865 - Page 5

1865 Jan
many of our articles destroyed but much less injured than we expected owing to the kind care of our friends. The Apparatus room, the picture gallery, the Regents room & lecture room were destroyed. I went this morning to visit the scene of destruction. All Smithson's personal effects; all Dr. Hare's philosophical apparatus, the Stanley Indian Gallery of portraits have all perished. We entered the Apparatus room first. The dismantled walls & towers rose high above us reminding us of the ruins of some English Abbey. Mr. Welling was my companion. We picked out way over the cinders & burnt bricks through the lecture room to the Picture Gallery. The remains of the dying gladiator lay scattered about – we picked up a few pieces but they crumbled in our fingers. The blue sky above us formed a beautiful roof but we dreaded storms too much not to be glad to learn that something pleasing to the eye but a protection to the museum of curiosity below us was 

Mary Henry Diary, Fire - Jan 1865 - Page 6

Jan 1865
to be immediately erected. Father is himself again today. The warm sympathy of the Regents & friends of Inst. has been very grateful to him. Mr. Patterson told us the Senate was discussing a very important bill when it was announced that the Inst. was on fire and immediately adjourned. The Supreme Court aleys then(?) its session. People came from Georgetown to witness the conflagration. The loss of his letters is a very great trial to father but he had hardly mentioned it – thinking much more of the Library & private papers of Bishop Johns entrusted to the Inst. Fathers letters were written with very great care & were in answer to questions upon almost every subject. They had been all prepared with the greatest care. Not a letter ever left the Inst. but a copy of it was taken. It is next to losing Father to have them go. It is a calamity I have no resignation to meet. It seems so very hard to 


continued......

2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Fire - Jan 1865 - Page 7

Jan 1865
save our furniture and other things which are so valueless in comparison with those when we would so gladly give them in exchange. 



http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/fire-smithsonian-institution-building-january-25-1865

End of the Civil War, April 3-10, 1865
2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, End of War - April, 1865 - Page 1

April 3rd The war department was hung with flags yesterday and the city in an excited state generally from the supposition that Gen Grant would in all probability be within the fortifications of Richmond before night. Father & Mr. Patterson, who has been with us since Saturday, went to the wharf for news a number of very badly wounded men had just arrived from Fortress Monroe. One poor fellow had lost both arms legs and one arm, all were seriously injured.
Henry Smith came to call in the evening. He was on his way to New Orleans to join his regiment. He had been recruiting his strength at home after an imprisonment 

Mary Henry Diary, End of War - April, 1865 - Page 2

of six months at the South. The description of the treatment he had received could not but excite our indignation. The seemingly systematic inhuman treatment of those taken in a war is a dark spot upon the escutheon of the South.
[April] 4th. The paper this morning does not give a very definite idea of the recent battle before Richmond. It does not seem to be as important as was supposed. Mr. Patterson has just left us.
11 o'clock Richmond has fallen--no particulars yet. Prof. Baird has just given the news to Father.
1 A.M. Mr. Gill has just brought in "The Star." Petersburg is ours. Richmond is evacuated and our forces are in persuit of the enemy. The church bells are ringing and the gun firing in honor of the victory. 



Mary Henry Diary, End of War - April, 1865 - Page 3

April 5th Went last evening to Mrs. Peales in order to go with her to view the illumination of the city in honor of the recent victories. We went first to the War Department. It was brillantly lighted and beautifully draped with flags. While we were admiring it a beautiful crimson light was thrown upon the entire scene by some species of fire works. The effect was beautiful in the extreme. This was followed by white light giving the effect of frost work to the th trees and afterwards by blue which was not as pretty. The President's House shown resplendent with candles. The Treasury was distinguished by an immense Treas Green Back. In front of the State Department was a transparency with these words upon it "At home union is order and order is peace. Abroad union is strength and strength is peace." The Capitol was adorned with several tiers 

Mary Henry Diary, End of War - April, 1865 - Page 4

of lights encircling the dome while the white marble seemed translucent with the innumerable lights below. There was a large transparency in front which we were 
continued......





This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 10:20
2 months ago

not near enough to read. The effect of the building at a distance was exceedingly fine. The National Observatory was lighted and was much admired. A large mass meeting was collected around the Patent Office. The word union in large letters formed of gas jets adorned the front. It was brillantly illunimated as was the Post Office opposite. We were with Mr. Seward and his daughter part of the time. Sec Stanton's House was very tastefully adorned. A Serenade under his windows closed the enjoyment of our evening.

April 6th. Our army is in persuit of the rapidly retreating forces of Lee it is earnestly to be hoped 

Mary Henry Diary, End of War - April, 1865 - Page 5

that they will be overtaken and the final blow given which may terminate this sanguinary war. The mere taking of Richmond is of comparative small importance if the Southern army remains unconquered.
Mr. Seward was thrown from his carriage about 5 o'clock last evening and lay in a state of insensibility for some time. It was feared his skull was fractured. Father called there about 10 o'clock found him much better his arm is broken.
April 7th 2 P.M. Lee and his whole army are captured. Guns are firing and the bells are ringing out a merry peal. Poor fellows, how hard it must have been to yield. Our hearts are heavy for them even while we rejoice most truly on the prospects of peace.
8 P.M. The victory was not as great as supposed but still is sufficiently important to be a subject of great 

Mary Henry Diary, End of War - April, 1865 - Page 6

rejoicing. Gens. Ewell, Kershaw, Butler, Corse, Custis Lee and several other Officers were taken and several thousand prisoners.
Sec. Seward's injuries were not as serious as at first supposed. He is much better to day.
April 10th. We were awakened at 5 o'clock this morning by the usual sounds of victory the firing of guns and the ringing of bells and before we were dressed Father came to our door to tell us Lee and his army had surrendered. The news came at 9 o'clock last night. The correspondence bet. Grant & Lee concerning the negociated surrender was noble and generous on both sides. Gen Lee, with his officers and men were all paroled. 



http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/end-civil-war-april-3-10-

1865

Death of Abraham Lincoln, April 15-26, 1865
2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 9

stricken Mother. Dr. Gurley went with her to the White House. Some of her expressions are exceedingly painful. To day remains of the good kind man are deposited in the East Room and from an early hour the streets have been thronged with people going to take their last view of him. Sally & Annie Kennedy asked me to go with them but I thought I would rather remember him as I saw him last at the Capitol at the inaugeration. Carry and I are going out again soon, we feel too restless to remain at home. Father writes that the feeling of resentment against the Southerners in New York is bitter in the extreme. One man for an expression indicating want of sympathy in the general sorrow was thrown over the railing of a ferry boat & instantly crushed by the wheels. We expect Father to night. He heard the news shortly after his arrival in New York on Friday night. 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 10

Capt. Alexander was here this morning. He says he has no doubt that Boothe is concealed in Baltimore. It will be very difficult to catch him being an actor he is accustomed to assume all disguises. The Capt. is firmly convinced that the assassination and attempted murder of Mr. Seward was a plot to destroy the amicable relations springing up between the North and the South through the humane policy of Mr. Lincoln and by substituting a sterner administration and harsher measures against the rebels with increased bitter feeling to unite the South for further resistance. Seward was Mr. Lincoln's chief supporter in his lenient measures.

The city is in such a state of excitement that the slightest unusual circumstance attracts a crowd immediately. Yesterday afternoon while I was making a call a number of carriages passed the window where I was seated some empty, some filled driving 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 1

[April] 15th. We were awakened this morning by an announcement which almost made our hearts stand still with consternation. The President was shot last night in the Theater. When the morning paper was issued he was still alive although little or no hopes were entertained of his recovery but now the tolling bells tell us he has ceased to breathe. He is dead. Mr. De Bust has just told Hannah he died at ½ 7 o'clock. Deeply must the country mourn this death for although uncouth & ungainly he was true hearted, magnanimous and kind and in the present crisis ready to follow the such a course with the defeated belligerants

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 11


continued.......




This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 10:25
2 months ago

furiously and the street was soon filled with people running eagerly towards N.Y. Ave. not a one of them knowing what was the matter. In a few moments a crowd extending over several squares had collected. After some time it was discovered that two negro women fighting has caused the disturbance. Traces of the assassin have been found and several supposed accomplices in the plot arrested but great fears are entertained that the murderers will escape. A sense of insecurity pervades the community and guards have been placed around the houses of the most prominent citizens.
[April] 19th Wed[nesday]. To day was the funeral of our good kind President. The ceremonies of the White House were conducted by Dr. Gurley, Dr. Hall, Bishop Simpson and one other clergyman whose name I have forgotten, in the East Room. The catafalco was erected in the centre of the appartment graduated semi circular platforms were arranged around this for the accommodation of the invited attendants. The various delegations had each their place assigned. 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 12

Father was invited to take part with the officers of the Smith. Inst. and I went with him to the Treasury building were he obtained for me a position upon one of the porticos to witness the procession. Only four or five ladies were admitted into the East Room. It was a beautiful day and as the people collected at the corners of the streets, at the windows & upon the roof of the houses, it was difficult to realize we were not preparing for some gala festival instead of the last sad honours to the well beloved dead. The procession left the White House about 2 P.M. We were notified that it had started by the distant booming of guns & the tolling of bells. The sad sweet strains of the funeral march heralded its approach and soon the military escort appeared marching slowly with bent heads & guns reversed. The sad pagent was two hours in passing. The funeral car was heavily draped with black plainly showing the coffin which 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 13

was adorned with beautiful flowers. The remains were placed in the Capitol & will be open to the view of the public until Friday morning. They are to be conveyed to Springfield.
[April] 26th. The remains of President Lincoln left the city yeste Friday morning. Dr. Gurley has joined the company who escort them. The papers this morning contain a description of the manner in which the cortege has been received. Mrs. Lincoln is quite ill and poor little Tad quite inconsolable. Mercy tempered with a great deal [of] severity is approbated to be the policy of the new President in dealing with the rebels. 
Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 2

 as would win them back to their allegiance to the Government and subdue the rebellion in their hearts as well as subjugate their aims. The South has lost in him a good & judicious friend. His successor Johnson heartily desires the death of the leaders of the rebellion & is in every way ultra in his views. I have not given the particulars of the disaster. It was announced in the yesterday's papers that the President with Gen Grant would be at Ford's Theater in the evening and a large crowd collected there in consequence. Gen Grant however left the city before night for N.Y. Mrs. Lincoln had not been well & the President went to the place of amusement with reluctance, not wishing to disappoint the audience. He was received with more than usual applause. About 9½ o'clock a shot was heard which was at first supposed to be from the stage and a man

continued......



This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 10:27
2 months ago
Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 3

leaped from the President's box upon the stage crying, "Sic semper Tyrannis" "I have done it." and making his way to the door mounted a horse & rode off. The shrieks of Madame Lincoln first announced to the petrified audience the catastrophe which had taken place. The President was found to be in a state of insensibility, shot twice through the head. He was immediately conveyed to a house opposite the theatre followed by Mrs. L. escorted by her friends in an almost frantic condition.
At the same time of the accident an attempt was also made upon the life of Sec. Seward. The assasin entered the house upon the plea that he had brought a prescription of Dr. Verde the physician of the Sec. He pushed passed the servant into the room of the sick man & after disabling the attendants inflicted several sabre wounds in his neck & then made his escape. Sec. Stanton it is said was warned 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 4

of the danger and guarded himself against it. The rain is falling heavily and the bells still toll their melancholy tale.

7 P.M. The sad day of excitement is over. The President's body has been embalmed and lies in state at the White House while the frantic grief of Mrs. Lincoln has settled into an apathetic dejection from which it is impossible to arouse her. The President remained unconcious to the last. The members of the Cabinet, Mrs. & Miss Kinney and Miss Harris surrounded his bed. Dr. Gurley was present & afterwards escorted the bereaved widow to her home. At the request of Mrs. Lincoln, he communicated the mournful intelligence to poor little Tad who was wandering from group to group of the sorrowing attendants endeavoring vainly to find out what was the matter. His cries when he heard that he was Fatherless were exceedingly touching. He 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 5

has been the most constant companion of the President. Johnson has received the oath of office and seems impressed with the dignity and responsibility of his new office. The assasins have not yet been arrested but the evidence if conclusive that Booth a miserable actor and worthless vagrant, a Son of the great tragedian, committed the deed. That is the murder of the President--the stabbing of Mr. Seward was probably done by an accomplice. Mr. Seward is in a critical position and has not been informed of the death of the President or of the danger of his son, who was so much injured by the assasin that very little hope is entertained of his life. The feeling of resentment at the South as instigating in all probability the murder is deep and I fear will entirely replace the feeling of kindness before 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 6


continued.....
2 months ago

entertained for the insurgents. The Southerners if they have countenanced the dreadful deed have fatally mistaken the interest of their cause.
[April 17th. The sorrow for the President's death is deep and universal as we went to church yesterday we found all the houses draped in black. In front of the studio of Mr. Baumgrass, a large portrait of Mr. Lincoln was suspended surrounded with the marks of mourning. The church was so thronged with stranger we with difficulty made our way into the building and after standing for some time were provided with seats in the isle. The pulpit and gallery was dressed in black and the Presidents pew was closed and clothed with the same emblem. The Dr. in a short introductory address alluded to the terrible calamity which had befallen the Nation and spoke in terms of true affection of the personal qualities of our beloved 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 7

chief Magistrate. The Assasins have not yet been found. The feeling against the South is exceedingly bitter. Mr. Seward's wounds are not as serious as was at first supposed and he will probably recover. He was informed last night of the death of the President and of the critical condition of his son still remains in a state of insensibility. The funeral ceremonies are expected to take place on Wednesday.

[April] 18th. Have just returned from the Kennedys where I passed the night. I went to see Dr. & Mrs. Gurley yesterday afternoon. The Dr. said he had been called to go to the President about 4 o'clock in the morning. He found him in the house opposite the theatre lying insensible upon a bed with the life blood dripping from the wound in his head upon the clothes on the floor beneath. The several members of the Cabinet & other persons were standing around the deepest sorrow depicted upon their countenances. The Dr. went to the bed 

Mary Henry Diary, Lincoln - April, 1865 - Page 8

side but for a while was too much overcome with his feelings to perform the religious services required of him. He went to Mrs. Lincoln and found her in an almost frantic condition. The President died about 7½ o'clock. Dr. Gurley returned to his bed side a few moments before his decease. He made his way through the sorrowing & silent spectators & found him slowly drawing his breath at long intervals lying as before perfectly motionless. A faint hardly perceptable motion in his throat and all was over. So still was the room that the ticking of the President's watch was distinctly heard. After a solemn & impressive prayer, Dr. Gurley went to break the sad intelligence to Mrs. Lincoln who was in the parlor below. She cried out "Oh why did you not tell me he was dying?" Robert Lincoln showed great self possession & calmness and did all in his power to comfort his sorrow 



http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/death-abraham-lincoln-april-15-26-1865

Mary Anna Henry Image Gallery
2 months ago

Mary Anna Henry was the oldest of four children of Joseph and Harriet Alexander Henry. Joseph Henry was the first Secretary of the Smithsonian from 1846 to 1878, and the Henry family lived in the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle from 1855 to his death in 1878. 


One of Joseph Henry's Daughters as a Child, by Unknown, c. 1830s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2012-7652 or 36792 or 2004-10351.
One of Joseph Henry's Daughters as a Child
One of the three daughters of Harriet Alexander and Joseph Henry, physicist and first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1846 to 1878. The Henrys had one son, William Alexander, born 1831, and three daughters, Mary Anna, born 1834, Helen Louisa, born 1836, and Caroline, born 1839, c. 1830s, by Unknown, card photograph, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 27C, SIA2012-7652 or 36792 or 2004-10351.
Joseph Henry's Daughter Caroline, by Good, J, c. 1842, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3257.
Joseph Henry's Daughter Caroline
Portrait of Joseph Henry's daughter Caroline (1839-1920) as a child sitting on an ornate chair. Joseph Henry (1797-1878), physicist, was the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1846 to 1878, c. 1842, by J. Good, carte de visite, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 81, 82-3257.
Mary Henry, Daughter of Secretary Henry, by Unknown, c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3258.
Mary Henry, Daughter of Secretary Henry
Photographic portrait of Mary Anna Henry, daughter of first Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry (1846-1878), c. 1855, by Unknown, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 12, Folder: 5, 82-3258.
Joseph Henry's Daughters Caroline & Mary, by Unknown, c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 46638-G or MAH-46638G.
Henry's Daughters Caroline & Mary

continued......


This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 10:33
2 months ago
Joseph Henry's daughters Caroline (1839-1920) & Mary (1834-1903). Joseph Henry (1797-1878) was a physicist and the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1846 to 1878. This photograph shows Caroline seated, resting her arm on a table, and Mary standing to her right, c. 1855, by Unknown, carte de visite, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 81, 46638-G or MAH-46638G.
Joseph Henry's daughter Helen, by Gardner, Alexander 1821-1882, c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 46638-H or MAH-46638H.
Joseph Henry's daughter Helen
Portrait of Helen Louisa Henry (1836-1912), daughter of Harriet Alexander Henry and Joseph Henry. Joseph Henry (1797-1878), was a physicist and the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1846 to 1878. This photograph is a profile of Helen's face, c. 1855, by Alexander Gardner, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 81, 46638-H or MAH-46638H.
Joseph Henry's Daughter Caroline, by Addis, R.W. (Washington, D.C.), c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3254.
Henry's Daughter Caroline, 82-3254
Joseph Henry's daughter Caroline (1839-1920). Joseph Henry (1797-1878), was a physicist and the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1846 to 1878, c. 1855, by R. W. Addis, carte de visite, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 81, 82-3254.
William A. Henry (?), by Unknown, Date unknown, c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3190.
William A. Henry
Possibly William Alexander Henry (1832-1862) son of Harriet and Joseph Henry (1797-1878), physicist and first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution from 1846 to 1878, c. 1855, by Unknown, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 12, Folder: 3, 82-3190.

Valentine to Mary Henry, by Unknown, c. 1850s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2012-2990 and SIA2012-2991.
Valentine to Mary Henry
A valentine sent to Mary Henry from an unknown suitor. He includes a love poem and signs the note "Valentine." Transcript of poem: "To Mary Henry/Oh, were I a bird that could sing all the day,/I would fly to her bower to carol my [lay?]!/Or were I a breath of the soft scented air,/I would waft all my sweets to her bower so fair!/Or were I a thought could awaken a smile,/I would rest 

continued......


This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 10:39
2 months ago
 rest on her lip all her woes to beguile./I would make my bright throne in her sorrowing heart,/And each impulse that grew should its pleasures impart./Oh, were I a strain of some melody sweet,/I would steal to her chamber her slumber to greet./Or were I a dream could recall to her mind/The pleasures and joys she has long left behind./I would [hover?] around in the stillness of night  and her visions of sleep should be joyously bright./I would kiss from her cheek every envious tear,/and guard her fond bosom from sorrow and fear./"Valentine,"" c. 1850s, by Unknown, document, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7001, Box 58, Folder: 1, SIA2012-2990 and SIA2012-2991.
Henry Apartments in Smithsonian Institution Building, by Peale, Titian Ramsay, 1862, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 46638-C or MAH-46638C.
Henry Apartments in SIB, MAH-46638C
The first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry (1846-1878) and family lived in the East Wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building.  The Music Room of the Henry apartments is furnished with Rococo Revival and wicker furniture. The bust of George Washington can be seen on the far right, 1862, by Titian Ramsay Peale, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 31A, Folder: 18, 46638-C or MAH-46638C.
Henry Apartments in Smithsonian Institution Building, by Peale, Titian Ramsay, 1862, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 3253 or MAH-X3253.
Henry Apartments in SIB, 3253
Interior of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle, of the apartments of the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry (1846-1878) and family, c. 1862. The view is of the parlor, from the dining room. The music room is also visible, 1862, by Titian Ramsay Peale, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 31A, Folder: 18, 3253 or MAH-X3253.
Henry Apartments in Smithsonian Institution Building, by Peale, Titian Ramsay, 1862, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 3252 or MAH-X3252.
Henry Apartments in SIB, MAH-X3252
Interior view of the Smithsonian Institution Building, now known as the Castle, showing the Music Room, looking south, of the apartments of Secretary Joseph Henry (1846-1878) and family. In this photograph a piano is against the back wall to the right, a bust of George Washington is in the corner of the room and a sofa to the left, 1862, Titian Ramsay Peale, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 31A, Folder: 18, 3252 or MAH-X3252.

continued.....



This post was modified from its original form on 13 May, 10:45
2 months ago
Henry Family at East Door of Castle, by Unknown (Titian R. Peale?), 1862, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SA-203 or sa-203.
Henry Family at East Door of Castle
Secretary Joseph Henry (1846-1878) with his wife Harriet and three daughters, Caroline, Mary and Helen, standing in the east doorway to the Smithsonian Institution Building, c. 1862. Henry was the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, and he and his family resided in the east wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building, 1862, by Unknown, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 12, Folder: 3, SA-203 or sa-203.
Henry Family on the Smithsonian Grounds, by Peale, Titian Ramsay, 1865, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2002-12181.
Henry Family on the Smithsonian Grounds
Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1846-1878), and his wife, Harriet Alexander Henry, and their daughters Caroline, Helen and Mary, who are holding croquet mallets, seated on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institution Building, 1865, by Titian Ramsay Peale, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 12, Folder: 3, 2002-12181.
National Academy of Sciences Meeting, Smithsonian Institution Building, by Unknown, April 1874, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, MAH10844.
National Academy of Sciences Meeting, 1874
Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in the Mineral Hall, West Wing, Smithsonian Institution Building, "Castle," April 1874. Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian (1846-1878) is seated at the head of the room behind a small table, by Unknown, April 1874, photographic print, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 28, Folder: 22.
Mary Henry's Studio in East Range, Smithsonian Institution Building, by Smillie, T. W (Thomas William) 1843-1917, 1878, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 1237 or MAH-1237.
Mary Henry's Studio in East Range, SIB
Studio of Mary Henry, daughter of Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian (1846-1878), in the East Range, of the Smithsonian Institution Building, Castle, c. 1878. The room is filled with paintings, sculptures, easels, a spinning wheel, chairs and tables, 1878, by Thomas W. Smillie, stereo view, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 31A, Folder: 18, 1237 or MAH-1237.

continued.......
2 months ago
Bedroom of Henry Apartments, Smithsonian Institution Building, by Smillie, T. W (Thomas William) 1843-1917, c. 1878, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 1238 or MAH-1238.

Bedroom of Henry Apartments, SIB

A second bedroom of the Henry apartments in the Smithsonian Institution Building, "Castle" was in the southwest corner of the  East  Wing.  The first Secretary of the Smithsonian Joseph Henry (1846-1878) and his family lived in the Smithsonian Institution Building, c. 1878, by Thomas W. Smillie, stereo view, courtesy Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 31A, Folder: 18, 1238 or  MAH-1238.




http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/mary-henry-eyewitness-civil-war/image-gallery-mary-anna-henry
Image Gallery: Washington, DC, during the Civil War
2 months ago

The Smithsonian Institution Building provided a bird's eye view of the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The Castle's towers provided a clear view across to battles in Virginia and Maryland. Union soldiers drilled on the grounds surrounding the Institution. And the influx of soldiers and citizens to the nation's capital increased the number of visitors to the Smithsonian's exhibits and programs. These images show how remote the Castle was from downtown Washington and how close it was to nearby Confederate Virginia. 

Smithsonian Institution Building and The Mall, 1855, by Unknown, c. 1855, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2004-10647 or 18603.
View of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle from downtown Washington, c. 1855
The Smithsonian Institution Building (SI seen from downtown Washington, D.C., from across The Mall, around 1855. In the foreground are construction materials along 15th Street, NW for the new wing added in 1855 to the Treasury Building. The Treasury building is the oldest departmental building in Washington, D.C.having been completed in 1842 and expanded three times by 1869. Residential and commercial buildings in the foreground are between 15th and 14th Streets, NW. This area was also known in the 1860s as the red light district called Murder Bay. The canal bordering the Mall before being converted to form Constitution Avenue is the sliver at right center. The white residence at the far left is at the corner of 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, by Unknown, c. 1855, photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 67, Folder: 2 and Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 7, 2004-10647 or 18603.
SI Building from the Northeast with Flowers Along Mall, by Russell, Andrew J, c. 1858, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 9748-A or MAH-9748A.
Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle from the northeast. c. 1858
North facade of the Smithsonian Institution Building (SI, also known as the "Castle," from the northeast, before the fire of 1865, showing people on a path in front of the Castle and a flower-covered expanse along the Mall in front of the building, by Unknown, c. 1858, photographic print, courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 285, Box 25, Folder: 1, 9748-A or MAH-9748A.
Pres. Lincoln's Inauguration, by Peale, Titian Ramsay, 1861, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 75078 or MAH-75078.
President Lincoln's Inauguration,1861
Inauguration of President Lincoln from our front door, G Street' photo was taken by T. R. Peale.  Soldiers are lined up between the sidewalk and the house.  Figures on the left are blurred, 1861, by Titian Ramsay Peale, photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 16, Folder: 20A, 75078 or MAH-75078.

continued......
2 months ago
View from the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle roof looking east toward the US Capitol, 1860s
View from the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle roof looking east toward the US Capitol, 1860s
View of the United States Capitol building from the top of the towers of the Smithsonian Institution Building, the early 1860s. The dome of the Capitol is under construction. 
View from balloon of Washington, DC, with Smithsonian Building or Castle at top center and US Capitol at bottom left, 1861
A balloon view of Washington, D.C., 1861. The Smithsonian Institution Building can be seen at the top center, right below the river. The United States Capitol building can be seen at the bottom left, with its dome under construction. 

n


Thaddeus Lowe's Balloon Ascent, by Brady & Co. (Washington, D.C.), May 31, 1862, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2011-0961 and A30915H.
Thaddeus Lowe's Balloon Ascent
Image of Thaddeus Lowe's balloon test of the "Intrepid" at the battle of Fair Oaks, Virginia, during the Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862.  Lowe's balloon was used for reconnaissance for the Union Army during the Civil War.  Using a telegraph the driver could send a message about Confederate camps and troop movements to soldiers below who then gave the information to Union generals.  The test was supported by Smithsonian Institution Secretary Joseph Henry, who served as President Abraham Lincoln's scientific advisor during the war, May 31, 1862, by Brady & Co. (Washington, DC), photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 54, Folder: 9D, SIA2011-0961 and A30915H.
Smithsonian Institution Building, or "Castle", by Brady & Co. (Washington, D.C.), 1863, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, SIA2011-1448 or 32004 or 131133 or 2002-21691.

continued.....




2 months ago
View of the Smithsonian Institution Building looking east up B Street (Independence Ave) towards the Capitol. Visible amidst the trees is the Magnetic Observatory, built in 1853. Grounds are landscaped following a plan laid out by Andrew Jackson Downing, 1863, by Brady & Co. (Washington, DC), photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 67, Folder: 4, SIA2011-1448 or 32004 or 131133 or 2002-21691.
SI Building from the West, by Unknown, c. 1863, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 80-20130 and 82-3289.
Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle from the west, c. 1863
Early view of the Smithsonian Institution Building from the west. A dirt path across the grass leads toward the North Entrance at the Carriage Porch. In the distance on the left the United States Capitol Building with its dome under construction is visible, c. 1863, by Unknown, photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 8 and Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 7, 80-20130 and 82-3289.
Smithsonian Institution Building, North Facade, c. 1860, by Unknown, c. 1856-1864, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 45934A or MAH-45934A.
North façade of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle from the northeast, c. 1860
View of the north façade of the Smithsonian Institution Building from the north east, showing the landscaping in front of the building. The weather vane atop highest North Tower was installed in 1856.  The photograph was taken before the 1865 fire, c. 1856-1864, by Unknown, photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 8, 45934A or MAH-45934A.
East Wing of SIB from South Yard, by Unknown, pre 1865, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3288 and 80-20131.
East wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle from the South Yard, pre-1865
The East Wing of the Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle" viewed from the South Yard, pre 1865, by Unknown, photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 7 and Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 8, 82-3288 and 80-20131.
Fire in Smithsonian Institution Building, by Gardner, Alexander 1821-1882, January 24, 1865, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 37082 or MAH-37082.Fire in the Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle, January 24, 1865


continued.......
2 months ago
People are visible standing around watching the burning of the Smithsonian Institution Building, the "Castle," January 24, 1865. The photograph was taken and heavily retouched by Alexander Gardner, as he painted flames on the photographic print, January 24, 1865, by Alexander Gardner, photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 9, 37082 or MAH-37082.
Engraving of the 1865 Fire in the Smithsonian Institution Building, by Unknown, 1865, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 2002-12222.
Engraving of the 1865 Fire in the Smithsonian Institution Building
An engraving from Harper's Weekly of the burning of the Smithsonian Institution Building, January 24, 1865.  In this view there are a number of men on horseback, 1865, by Unknown, engraving, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 9, 2002-12222.
Smithsonian Institution Building After Fire of 1865, by Wakeley, G. D, 1865, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 30792A or MAH-30792A.
Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle after the 1865 fire, 1865
The Smithsonian Institution Building, the "Castle," after the fire of January 24, 1865. The roof on the Main Hall is missing. Within three days of the fire a temporary roof was installed over the Lower Main Hall to protect the collections. That roof remained in place until the spring of 1867 when it was replaced with an iron and slate roof designed by Adolf Cluss, 1865, by G. D. Wakeley, photographic print, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 30, Folder: 10, 30792A or MAH-30792A.



http://siarchives.si.edu/history/exhibits/stories/mary-henry-eyewitness-
2 months ago

To have lived in the Smithsonian all those years and watch the Civil War and keep your diary had to be quite an experience.  We are so fortunate to have her account of all of this.

2 months ago

My goodness, Linda, this is quite a long post.  Looks very interesting, but it will take me a while to read.

2 months ago

A lot of it is taken up with pages of her diary and pictures, but it is all so interesting.  I find the Civil War very interesting and your article got my thoughts headed in that direction, Sandy.  I think it would be so inereresting to learn more about the women that had a role in the Civil War, not that they all didn't to some extent.  We know the Southern women had to take over running the plantations and it was not easy.  We also know there was the underground railroad, but I just would find more information about the role of women to be interesting.  

This thread is archived. To reply to it you must re-activate it.