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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Agassiz, Louis (1807-1873) to William Claflin

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01417 Author/Creator: Agassiz, Louis (1807-1873) Place Written: Cambridge, Massachusetts Type: Letter signed Date: 18 July 1871 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Explains that the United States Coast Survey is attempting to "make us acquainted with the bottom of the Ocean, as thoroughly as we already are with the surface of the Earth." Requests a contribution of $20,000 from Massachusetts Governor Claflin to finance the preservation, for scientific purposes, of specimens discovered in the course of the surveys dredging and fishing along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

People: Agassiz, Louis, 1807-1873.
Claflin, William, 1818-1905.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Maritime, Surveying, Frontiers and Exploration, Science and Technology, Finance, Wildlife, Geography and Natural History

Sub Era: Reconstruction