Jerome A. Jackson, "Baird, Spencer Fullerton," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/13/13-00070.html.
Baird knew how to work with people, was an excellent judge of abilities, and had the gifts of knowing when and how to compromise and the perseverance to make bureaucracy work for science. His administrative accomplishments went well beyond science into international relations. For example, Baird assisted with negotiations for the purchase of Alaska, complex negotiations with England and Canada over fishing rights, and with preparations for the Centennial Exposition of 1876, in Philadelphia, commemorating the founding of the nation. The latter efforts, through shrewd planning and hard work, resulted in the Smithsonian's acquisition of many items from foreign exhibits and congressional recognition and funding for the construction of a U.S. National Museum building.