Editorial | Published:


    Naturevolume 18pages143144 (1878) | Download Citation



    PROF. HENRY was born December 17, 1797, at Albany, New York, where also much of his early life was passed. The year of his birth seems, however, uncertain, some authorities placing it in 1799, or even later. He had at first the advantages of only a common school education. A parish library supplied him with boyish reading, and his early tastes were in the direction of romance and the drama. He was nearly grown when the accidental possession of a copy of Robinson's “Mechanical Philosophy” turned his thoughts towards natural philosophy. After two years of work as a watchmaker, he came under the training of the Albany Academy, where he developed a degree of mathematical talent which, in 1826, led to his selection for the duties of instructor in mathematics in that institution. Prior to this, having had some experience in the field as a surveyor, he was associated with Amos Eaton in the Geological Survey along the line of the Erie Canal, projected and sustained by General Stephen van Rensselaer. Failing physical health led to his taking this step. He returned home with a robust constitution, which never failed him throughout his life.

    About this article

    Publication history

    Issue Date




    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing