SIA RU007000, Smithson, James 1765-1829, James Smithson Collection, 1796-1951, c. 1974, 1981-1983
- Smithson, James 1765-1829
- James Smithson Collection, 1796-1951, c. 1974, 1981-1983
- 1796, 1796-1983, 1796-1951, c 1974, 1981-1983
- James Smithson (circa 1765-1829) was an amateur chemist and mineralogist of some reputation in his own day. He was the illegitimate son of Sir Hugh Smithson, Bt. (later duke of Northumberland) and Elizabeth Hungerford Keate Macie, a gentlewoman. To posterity he is best known as the founder of the Smithsonian Institution, created by a residual bequest under his will. Smithson was born in France about 1765; was naturalized a British subject about 1775; and entered Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1782, graduating M.A. in 1786.
- This collection contains the few original Smithson papers to survive a fire at the Smithsonian in 1865. It is, however, chiefly concerned with efforts to obtain the bequest; to trace the details of Smithson's own history; and to reinter his remains in the United States, which was accomplished in 1904. Notable among the actors in these pursuits were William Jones Rhees, the Institution's Chief Clerk; Samuel P. Langley, its third Secretary; and Alexander Graham Bell, long a Smithsonian Regent. The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, and publications.
- Macie, Elizabeth Hungerford Keate 1728-1800, Smithson, James 1765-1829, Bell, Alexander Graham 1847-1922, Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906, Rhees, William Jones 1830-1907, Northumberland, Hugh Percy Duke of 1712-1786, Smithsonian Institution, Pembroke College (University of Cambridge)
- Photographs, Collection descriptions
- Local Number:
- SIA RU007000
- Physical Description:
- 5.19 cu. ft. (8 document boxes) (2 half document boxes) (1 16x20 box) (oversize material)
Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Table of Contents
- Collection Overview
- Historical Note
- Descriptive Entry
- Index Terms
- Administrative Information
- Container List
- Series 1 - ORIGINAL SMITHSON MANUSCRIPTS AND COPIES, 1782-1878, 1974, 1981-1983, AND UNDATED.
- Series 2 - DOCUMENTS RELATED TO SECURING THE SMITHSON BEQUEST AND CLAIMS BY WOULD-BE HEIRS, 1764, 1782, 1794, 1829-1895, 1908.
- Series 3 - RESEARCH MATERIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT SMITHSON'S LIFE AND LINEAGE, 1807-1824, 1853, 1880-1951 AND UNDATED.
- Series 4 - REMOVAL OF SMITHSON'S REMAINS TO AMERICA, 1903-1905, AND RELATED RECORDS FROM 1879-1900, 1919, c.1974.
- Series 5 - PHOTOGRAPHS AND LIKENESSES, 1782-1919.
- Series 6 - PUBLICATIONS, 1844-1930.
- Series 7 - ITEMS REMOVED FROM PREVIOUS SERIES
Record Unit 7000
James Smithson Collection, 1764-1983
|Repository:||Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at email@example.com.|
|Title:||James Smithson Collection|
|Quantity:||0.9 linear meter.|
|Collection:||Record Unit 7000|
|Language of Materials:||English|
The birth of James Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institution, is thought to be during the year 1765. Born in France, he became a naturalized British citizen around the age of ten. The illegitimate son of Elizabeth Hungerford Keate Macie and Hugh Smithson, 1st Duke of Northumberland, he changed his name as well as his citizenship. After his parents' death, he became known as James Smithson rather than James Macie. On May 7, 1782, he enrolled in Pembroke College, Oxford, and graduated four years later. The natural sciences sparked his interest, and he established a solid reputation as a chemist and mineralogist, despite the lack of quality information available on these topics in the late 1700s. He realized this and worked diligently to collect mineral and ore samples from European countries. Excerpts from his notes show that his excursions often forced him to brave the elements and do without the monetary comforts of his parents. Smithson, although a wealthy man, determined to make a name for himself among scientists without depending upon his heritage. He kept accurate accounts of his experiments and collections and earned the respect of his peers. When the Royal Society of London recognized his scientific abilities and accepted his membership on April 26, 1787, only a year after he graduated from college, he knew his quest and respect for knowledge would yield even greater things. The Society became an outlet for publishing many of his papers, which covered a diverse range of scientific topics, as well as a meeting place for fellow intellectuals like Cavendish, Lavoisier, Arago, Banks, and Fabroni.
James Smithson wrote his Last Will and Testament with the same exactness found in his research notes. He drafted it in 1826 in London, only three years before he died. He died on June 27, 1829, in Genoa, Italy, where he was buried in a British Cemetery. The will entailed his estate to his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, and stated that if his nephew died without an heir the money would go "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge ...."
In 1835 when Henry James Hungerford died without an heir, his mother, Mary Ann de la Batut, claimed her right to the Smithson estate, due to her previous marriage to Colonel Henry Louis Dickinson, half-brother of James Smithson and father of Henry James Hungerford. The British Courts allotted her an annual allowance until her death in 1861. Marie de la Batut's children from her second marriage had no blood or legal relationship to James Smithson; however, they joined with their spouses and children and persisted over the next few decades to claim various rights to the Smithson estate. George Henry, Emma Kirby, Marie, Charles, and Maurice all contacted the Smithsonian Institution with stories, genealogies, and bargains attempting to convince the Smithsonian administration of their need for and right to the money.
Aaron Vail, charges d'affaires of the United States at London, informed the United States of its right to the Smithson bequest after Hungerford's death. President Andrew Jackson brought the situation before Congress on December 17, 1835, and the government reacted with skepticism. The hesitancy lasted for ten years as Congress contemplated Smithson's motivation for willing such a large sum to a country he never visited. Some considered the bequest "a cheap way of conferring immortality," while others were reluctant to accept such a gift from a foreigner. (Rhees, 1880)
John Quincy Adams liked the idea of a Smithsonian Institution, however, and gathered congressional support for it during the spring of 1836. July 1, 1836, President Jackson commissioned Richard Rush to represent the United State's claim to Smithson's bequest in England. Rush acquired the money, converted it to gold (over $500,000), and brought it to America. Debates ensued and the U. S. Treasury invested the money in Arkansas State Bonds. This investment disturbed John Quincy Adams. Despite their low interest rate, he realized the bonds were untouchable until 1860. Adams spent the last nine months of 1841 trying to access the money. Upon hearing Adams' complaint President John Tyler took action and forced the Treasury to provide the original amount of the bequest plus the appropriate interest on the bonds. In 1846 a final bill passed for the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution.
Another issue began to surface in 1891 when Samuel P. Langley invested in Italian rentes (bonds) for the care of Smithson's grave site in Genoa, Italy. On November 24, 1900, a member of the Committee of the British Burial Ground Association of Genoa informed Langley of a possible need to remove Smithson's remains from the cemetery due to quarrying in the area. William Henry Bishop, U. S. Consul at Genoa, confirmed the impending destruction of the cemetery and offered his assistance along with cost estimates for the transfer of Smithson's remains to the United States. Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, a Regent of the Smithsonian, agreed to accompany the remains from Italy to America as long as the act coincided with Italian and British Law. Dr. Bell and his wife arrived with the remains in Hoboken, New Jersey, on the "Princess Irene" on January 19, 1904. The U. S. S. "Dolphin" then carried the remains to Washington, D.C., where a ceremony in the Main Hall of the Smithsonian Institution Building saluted the founder. Smithson's original tomb was transferred to America later that same year, and the Smithson Mortuary Chapel was constructed in the Smithsonian Institution Building.
- James Macie was born in France
- Naturalized British Citizen
- Enrolled in Pembroke College, Oxford
- Graduated from Pembroke College, Oxford
- Member Royal Society
- Dorothy Percy willed 3,000 pounds to James Macie (believed to be her half bother)
- Smithson was a prisoner of war in Hamburg and wrote to Sir Joseph Banks for help
- "A Few Facts Relative to the Colouring Matters of some Vegetables," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London
- "A Method of Fixing Crayon Colors," Annals of Philosophy
- "On a Balance for Weighing Globules of Metals," The Technical Repository
- Original draft of Smithson's will
- Smithson's death in Genoa, Italy
- Death of Henry James Hungerford (Smithson's nephew)
- U. S. notified of Smithson's bequest
- Mary Ann de la Batut (Henry James Hungerford's mother) claimed her right to Smithson's estate
- Act of Congress accepted Smithson bequest
- British Chancery Court award Smithson Estate to the United States
- Congressional debates over what to do with Smithson's bequest
- "A Memoir on the Scientific Character and Researches of James Smithson," by Walter R. Johnson
- Congressional Bills and Amendments introduced establishing and defining divisions within the Smithsonian
- Samuel S. Cox's article for "Brothers" literary society addressed the issue of Smithson's bequest establishing a library or a university
- Act of Congress established Smithsonian Institution
- "An Account of the Smithsonian Institution," by William J. Rhees
- Fire at Smithsonian destroyed most of Smithson's papers
- George Henry de la Batut claimed his right to the Smithson estate
- "On the Works and Character of James Smithson," by J. R. McD. Irby
- "The Scientific Writings of James Smithson," by William J. Rhees
- "James Smithson and His Bequest," by William J. Rhees
- "Visitor's Guide to the Smithsonian Institution," by William J. Rhees
- Emma Kirby de la Batut claimed her right to the Smithson estate
- Samuel P. Langley allotted money for the care of Smithson's tomb in Genoa, Italy
- Marie (Mary Ann) de la Batut claimed her right to the Smithson estate (wife of George Henry)
- Charles and Maurice de la Batut claimed their rights to the Smithson estate
- Langley placed bronze tablets on Smithson's tomb in Genoa, recognizing him as founder of the Smithsonian Institution
- "Life of Smithson," by Samuel P. Langley
- Gilbert H. Grosvenor published newspaper articles advocating the transfer of Smithson's remains to America, due to destruction of cemetery in Genoa
- Alexander Graham Bell accompanied Smithson's remains to U.S. on the "Princess Irene"
- "The Removal of the Remains of James Smithson," by Samuel P. Langley
- Smithson Tomb moved from Italy to U. S.
- Erection of Smithson Mortuary Chapel on SI grounds
The James Smithson Collection lacks a great deal of his original papers. Richard Rush brought Smithson's personal effects to the United States in 1838, along with the proceeds from his estate. A fire in the Smithsonian building in 1865 destroyed many of the manuscripts originally acquired by the Institution. Correspondence among individuals seeking information on his life constitutes the majority of the collection, but some personal documents remain. These include some of his scientific papers and research notes, correspondence with friends and fellow scholars, and a handwritten draft of his will, all found in Series 1. Photographic copies of images of Smithson, Henry James Hungerford, documents, places, and people involved with some aspect of the Smithsonian are included as well. These appear in all of the six series.
Series 2 contains documents related to securing the Smithson bequest, establishing the Smithsonian Institution, and claims on the estate by would-be heirs. Series 3 consists of research materials on Smithson's life and lineage. Congress debated the purpose for the Smithsonian Institution for over a decade. Debates, bills, amendments, and letters show the questions and opinions surrounding what Smithson meant by "the increase and diffusion of knowledge...." Series 2-3 include correspondence, illustrations, charts, books, and letters concerning Smithson's maternal and paternal genealogies which help piece together his family history. Controversy surrounded one particular branch of Smithson's family, the de la Batuts, after the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution.
Series 4 includes information on the steps taken to move Smithson's remains to America. Newspaper clippings about the transfer of Smithson's remains and tomb to America mark a final chapter in the collection. Photographs, letters, and telegrams follow the story from start to finish, and involve men like Samuel P. Langley, Alexander Graham Bell, Richard Rathbun, William Henry Bishop, and Gilbert H. Grosvenor. Series 5 consists of photographs and liknesses of James Smithson, his relatives, and places and objects related to him. It includes a plaster cast and steel plate engravings of Smithson.
William J. Rhees, Joseph Henry, Spencer F. Baird, Samuel P. Langley, S. Dillon Ripley, and others involved with the Smithsonian Institution fervently sought information on Smithson's life for a variety of books, pamphlets, and articles. Circulars and letters from the 1870s and 1880s show the caliber of their search, but unfortunately very few facts surfaced on the founder of the Institution. This correspondence is scattered throughout the collection, but the actual publications which emerged on Smithson and the Smithsonian's beginnings are included in Series 6.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922
- Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906
- Rhees, William Jones, 1830-1907.
- Smithson, James, 1765-1829.
- Smithsonian Institution
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7000, Smithson, James,1765-1829, James Smithson Collection
Series 1ORIGINAL SMITHSON MANUSCRIPTS AND COPIES, 1782-1878, 1974, 1981-1983, AND UNDATED.
This series consists of originals or copies of Smithson's professional and friendly correspondence, his research notes, his scientific and original papers, and original family documents.
Folder 1 Photograph of Smithson's (Macie) signature in Pembroke College, Oxford University register, 1782; letter from Peggy Cordy, Assistant Librarian of Pembroke College, to Mr. James Goode explaining a photograph of Smithson's signature in his college register, 1974
Folder 2 Smithson's letter to Miss Eccles sent with information on the Royal Society, undated
Folder 3 Smithson's letter to Mr. Fabroni sent with loan of minerals, undated
Folders 4-7 Photographic copy of letter and notes from Smithson to Fabroni in English and French (mentions dinner invitations, returning minerals, and Fabroni's place in Cabinet de Physique), undated
Folder 8 Photographic copy of Smithson's correspondence with Fabroni on minerals and crystals, December 23, 1793, original in American Philosophical Society
Folder 9 Photographic copy of letter from Eandi Vassalli to Fabroni (in Italian and mentions Smithson), March 27, 1797, original in American Philosophical Society
Folder 10 Photocopies of Smithson correspondence, 1792-1806; Jean C. Smith's correspondence with S. Dillon Ripley concerning Smithson's past, 1981-83
Folder 11 Two copies of letters from Smithson to Sir Joseph Banks: May 14, 1796 discusses a plant for Banks to analyze; September 18, 1808 - Smithson, a prisoner of war in Hamburg, requests aid from Banks (analysis of letter included in "James Smithson in Durance")
Folder 12 Handwritten catalogue of Smithson's wardrobe, silverware, and other valuables, undated
Folder 13 Photocopy of document admitting Smithson to membership in the Royal Society in 1787
Folder 14 Fragments of letters to James Smithson (dinner invitations, etc.), 1817-23, and undated
Folder 15 Handwritten copies of dinner invitations to and from James Smithson (in French and English), 1817-1823
Folders 16-17 Handwritten list of minerals (in German, possibly written by Smithson), undated
Folder 18 Handwritten transcription by James Smithson of Admiral Swiney's account of shipwrecks in the Scilly Islands, undated
Folder 1 James Smithson's "Receipt Book" for medicinal and dietary uses, acquired by the Smithsonian in 1914, preservation copy, original is in Box 3
Folder 2 Scraps of Smithson's notes and list of minerals sent to Smithson, 1796-1810
Folder 3 Copies of Smithson's papers on chemical analysis and Clarke's review of Smithson's scientific achievements, 1787, 1791, 1802, 1806 and undated
Folder 4 J. R. McD. Irby's arrangement of James Smithson's "Notes on Minerals and Rocks," 1878
Folder 5 Smithson's copy of M. Hauey's Memoire sur la Theorie d'Une Nouvelle Espece de Decroissement Intermediaire, January 1809 (in French with diagrams of crystals)
Folder 6 "A Few Facts Relative to the Colouring Matters of Some Vegetables," in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 1818
Folder 7 "A Method of Fixing Crayon Colours," in The Annals of Philosophy, August 23, 1806
Folder 8 "On a Balance for Weighing Globules of Metals," in The Technical Repository, p. 78, 1826
Folder 9 "Plain Advice to the Public to Facilitate the Making of Their Own Wills," by W. R. Goodluck, 1826, used by Smithson to draft his will
Folder 10 Travel journal of Henry Louis Dickinson (Smithson's half-brother), 1796-1802
Folder 11 Henry James Hungerford's passport for travel in France and Italy, 1829 (Smithson's nephew) [Removed to Box 11, Folder 1]
Folder 12 Hand-drafted copy of James Smithson's Will, 1826 (original removed to security storage)
Folder 13 Handwritten copy of Smithson's will (not in his hand), and Congressional debates over the Smithson bequest, 1836-38
Folder 1 James Smithson's "Receipt Book" for medicinal and dietary uses, acquired by the Smithsonian in 1914, original
Series 2DOCUMENTS RELATED TO SECURING THE SMITHSON BEQUEST AND CLAIMS BY WOULD-BE HEIRS, 1764, 1782, 1794, 1829-1895, 1908.
This series documents the Batut family's claim to the Smithson estate and their correspondence with the Smithsonian Institution, the transfer of Smithson's estate to the United States, Smithson's genealogy, and a compilation of his biography.
Folder 1 Photographs of legal documents related to Smithson and the settlement of his estate; copy of the will as admitted to probate, 1829
Folder 2 Letters from Daniel Brent, American Consul Paris, to Thomas Aspinwall, American Consul London, concerning Smithson's bequest, 1835
Folder 3 Congressional Bills and Amendments establishing and defining the Smithsonian Institution, 1836-46 [1840 Letter from the Treasury Department Removed to Box 11, Folder 3]; copies of Levi Woodbury's efforts to obtain Smithson's bequest,1836-40; Andrew Jackson's letter turning information on bequest over to Congress, 1835; John F. H. Claiborne seeking appointment as Secretary of State to work with Smithson bequest, 1912; and Robert Dale Owen's support for SI, 1844 [Removed to Box 11, Folder 2] and 1856; copy of will, 1826; photocopy of letters from Aaron Vail to Forsyth over what to do with Smithson's estate [Removed to Box 11, Folder 4]
Folder 4 Miscellaneous Congressional Reports c. 1838-1847; House Document Number 256, information relative to the prosecution of the claim to the Smithson bequest, March 1838; House Report Number 587, Report from the Select Committee on the Smithsonian Fund, April 1842; Smithsonian Institution Report of Committee on Organization, 1847
Folder 5 Letters from Richard Rush to Thomas Aspinwall concerning British Stock Market and converting Smithson's estate to gold for transfer to U.S., 1838-39
Folder 6 Marie de la Batut's (George Henry's wife) claim to the Smithson estate, 1892; Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation, after the death of Madame de la Batut (mother of Henry James Hungerford) supporting the Smithsonian's right to do what it wished with her former allowance from the Smithson estate, 1863
Folder 7 Maurice de la Batut's claim to the Smithson bequest and correspondence between Samuel P. Langley and Thomas Donaldson over the claim, 1863
Folder 8 George Henry de la Batut's claim to the Smithson estate, 1877-79; information on Thomas Donaldson's meeting with George Henry, 1879; letters from Spencer F. Baird to George Henry exchanging Smithson relics, 1878-79; Samuel P. Langley's refusal to destroy any Smithson relics, 1887
Folder 9 Copies of Emma Kirby de la Batut's letters to the Ministers of France and the U. S. claiming her right to the Smithson estate, 1881
Folder 10 Copies of reference to Smithson from the records of John D. Enys's grandfather, Davies Gilbert, President of the Royal Society, 1829 or 1830, and college friend of Smithson, 1884
Folders 11-13 Research of William J. Rhees, Spencer F. Baird, and Joseph Henry into the life of Smithson; "James Smithson and His Bequest," by Rhees; critique of article and research by Joseph Lemuel Chester in The Academy, 1878-94
Folder 14 Photographs of research done by Samuel P. Langley and Cyrus Adler in England on the life of Smithson, 1894; letter from Adler to Harry W. Dorsey about the research, 1908
Folder 1 Copy of Hugh Smithson's will, 1782, and Dorothy Percy's will, 1794
Folder 2 B. F. Stevens's genealogy of Smithson's lineage, 1895; excerpt from John Goldworth Alger's, "Napoleon's British Visitors and Captives, 1801-1815"; Samuel P. Langley's organization of Smithson's lineage, undated; Penelope Keate's will, 1764
Series 3RESEARCH MATERIALS AND CORRESPONDENCE ABOUT SMITHSON'S LIFE AND LINEAGE, 1807-1824, 1853, 1880-1951 AND UNDATED.
This series consists of genealogical charts and information on various branches of Smithson's family, correspondence relating to "Life of Smithson" by Secretary Langley; a map of Genoa, Italy; and several drawings of the SI building, James Smithson, Hugh Smithson, Henry James Hungerford, and places James Smithson traveled during his lifetime.
Folder 3 B. F. Stevens, Spencer F. Baird, Samuel P. Langley, and Cyrus Adler's research correspondence and research into Smithson's life, 1880-98; "James Smithson," in Putnam's Monthly Magazine, 1853; topographical map of Genoa, Italy, 1885 [Removed to Oversize, Folder 1]
Folder 4 W. J. Kirkpatrick's research on Colonel Henry Louis Dickinson, 1880; pedigrees of Smithson's family (oversized), 1894 and undated [Removed to Box 11, Folder 5]; "My Doctors," 1892, and related notes, 1895-1907
Folder 5 Copies of reminiscences of a friend of the Northumberland family, author and date unknown
Folder 6 Frederick Webb Hodge and William J. Rhees's correspondence concerning research, and a list of possible illustrations for Samuel P. Langley's, "Life of Smithson," 1901; illustrations of Hugh Smithson, James Smithson, city of Bath (1786), Fingal's Cave, Ireland, and Smithson's tomb in Italy, undated; title pages from important scholarly journals which published Smithson's papers, 1807-1824; Smithson's genealogy and list of Henry James Hungerford's aliases, undated
Folder 1 Excerpt from "James Smithson in Durance," in The Pacific Historical Review, 1943; public inquiries into Smithson's past and his alleged involvement in the U. S. oil industry, 1932-51; oil reservoir map supposedly made by Smithson in 1862; correspondence concerning Samuel S. Cox's 1845 speech on the intent of Smithson's bequest, 1915-16; Willard C. Gompf's claim to the Smithson estate, 1896
Series 4REMOVAL OF SMITHSON'S REMAINS TO AMERICA, 1903-1905, AND RELATED RECORDS FROM 1879-1900, 1919, c.1974.
This series documents the Smithsonian's care of Smithson's tomb in Genoa, Italy, the destruction of the cemetery holding Smithson's remains, the legal dilemmas which faced those who wanted to move the remains to America, the Batut family's claim to the Smithson estate, Alexander Graham Bell's actual transfer of Smithson's remains to the United States on the "Princess Irene," and the ceremony following the arrival of the remains in Washington, D. C., on the U. S. S. "Dolphin." In addition this section concerns the media's involvement with the shipment of the remains and the Smithsonian's efforts to create a monument honoring its founder.
Folder 2 Drawings of Smithson's tomb in Genoa, undated [1 Item Removed to Oversize, Folder 2]; correspondence concerning Samuel P. Langley's appropriation of SI funds for the care of Smithson's grave site in Italy, 1891; letter (in French) emphasizing the moral ramifications of moving Smithson's tomb to America, 1879
Folder 3 SI Annual Report noting the Institution's responsibility for the care of Smithson's tomb in Italy, 1880; Emma Kirby de la Batut's claim to the Smithson estate, 1881; Samuel P. Langley's correspondence with the bankers, Grant, Brown, and Company, over the bonds purchased for the care of Smithson's tomb, 1891; Marie de la Batut's claim to the Smithson estate (George Henry's wife), and Rhees's "Memorandum in Relation to Letter from Marie de la Batut," 1892; Maurice de la Batut's claim to Smithson's estate (George Henry's son); correspondence on Thomas Donaldson's meeting with George Henry de la Batut, and Charles de la Batut's claim to the Smithson estate, 1893; information on bronze tablets the Smithsonian purchased for Smithson's tomb in Italy, 1895-1900; correspondence over the legal aspects of transferring Smithson's remains to U. S., involves William Henry Bishop, Samuel P. Langley, Richard Rathbun, Frank W. Hackett, J. B. Henderson, and Alexander Graham Bell; and copy of "The Removal of the Remains of James Smithson," by Samuel P. Langley (full account of the transfer and ceremony which honored Smithson), 1904
Folder 4 Correspondence between Samuel P. Langley, William Henry Bishop, Richard Rathbun, and Alexander Graham Bell concerning the Batut's disapproval of transferring Smithson's remains to America, the destruction of the cemetery in Genoa, and arrangements for the actual transfer of Smithson's remains, 1903
Folder 5 Correspondence relating to Alexander Graham Bell's arrival in U. S. on the "Princess Irene" with Smithson's remains, transport of the remains to the "Dolphin," and the ceremony which followed their arrival in Washington, D. C., 1904
Folder 1 Letters, opinions, and estimates to and from architects for the construction of a Smithson monument in Washington, D. C.; information on exhuming Smithson's remains; details on expenses and difficulties Alexander Graham Bell encountered while accompanying Smithson's remains to the U. S., 1904
Folder 2 Correspondence between Noel Lees, Richard Rathbun, and Samuel P. Langley on the shipment of Smithson's tomb to America; Smithsonian's correspondence with architects on the construction of a monument honoring Smithson in Washington, D. C., 1904
Folder 3 Correspondence between Richard Rathbun, Frank W. Hackett, William Henry Bishop, and Alexander Graham Bell addressing legal questions on Italian law and the transfer of Smithson's remains to America and the Hungerford family's possible right to the Smithson tomb in Genoa; correspondence over the shipment of Smithson's tomb to U. S., 1904
Folder 4 Correspondence concerning the shipment of Smithson's tomb to the U. S. (letters, invoices and receipts for insurance, inspections, and delivery), 1904
Folder 5 Correspondence regarding all aspects of constructing the Smithson Mortuary Chapel (which contained his remains and original tomb) in the SI Building; "Examination of the Exhumed Remains of James Smithson," by Z. T. Sower, M. D., 1905
Folder 6 Drawings of proposed Smithson Mortuary Chapel, 1903 and 1905 [1905 Drawing Removed to Oversize, Folder 3]
Folder 7 Newspaper articles from across U. S. on the destruction of cemetery in Genoa and supporting possible transfer of Smithson's remains to America, 1903; article from newspapers, "Shall the Tomb of James Smithson be Brought to America?" by Gilbert H. Grosvenor (explains the situation surrounding the need to move Smithson's remains to the U. S.); newspaper article, "James Smithson's Ashes," author unknown, (details on destruction of cemetery in Genoa and outlines history of SI), 1903; illustrations of Smithson's tomb in Genoa, undated - Photocopies of articles, originals removed to Box 10, Folder 1
Folder 8 Photos of the arrival of Smithson's remains in America in Harper's Weekly, 1904; newspaper article, "Smithson to Repose in Land He Benefitted," with photo of Alexander Graham Bell, 1904; newspaper photos of Smithson's tomb in Genoa and Alexander Graham Bell, 1904; Washington Times photo of Smithson Mortuary Chapel, 1905 - Photocopies of articles, originals removed to Box 10, Folder 2
Folder 9 Newspaper photos of SI and bust of Smithson, 1904 - Photocopies of articles, originals removed to Box 10, Folder 3
Folder 10 Newspaper article on sealing Smithson's tomb in America, 1905 - Photocopies of articles, originals removed to Box 10, Folder 4
Folder 11 Labels used for previous exhibit on James Smithson, 1896; invoice for labels for former Smithson exhibit, 1919; catalogue of Smithson's library, undated; "List of contents of case in Regents room containing relics of James Smithson" (pictures, paintings, documents, etc.), 1899; handwritten list (and copy) of Smithson relics, 1898
Folder 12 Smithson Crypt Gate Proposal, Albert Paley, c. 1974
Series 5PHOTOGRAPHS AND LIKENESSES, 1782-1919.
This series consists of illustrations, photographs, and engravings of James Smithson, Hugh Smithson, and Henry James Hungerford. Images of James Smithson's college, personal library, relics, tomb, and the transfer of his remains to America are also included.
Folder 13 Photograph of Smithson's room at Pembroke College, Oxford, and the Chapel at Pembroke College, 1894
Folder 14 Illustration of bust of Smithson, undated; water color of Smithson as a college student, 1816
Folder 1 Photograph of Smithson's tomb in Genoa, Italy, undated
Folder 2 Photograph of Smithson's personal library, 1900; photograph of Smithson's relics on a wall, undated
Folder 3 Smithson quote, "Everyman's a valuable member of society who by his observations researches and experiments procures knowledge for men," undated; photographs of the Smithson Memorial Tablet, 1896; steel plate engravings of profile bust of Smithson, undated
Folder 4 Silhouette of Henry James Hungerford, undated; Henry de la Batut's (Henry James Hungerford) visiting card, undated; bust of Henry Louis Dickenson, undated
Folder 5 Illustration of Hugh Smithson, undated
Folder 6 Plaster cast of bust of James Smithson, 1919; steel plate on wooden block of James Smithson used for engraving, undated
Series 6PUBLICATIONS, 1844-1930.
This series includes original publications on the life and work of James Smithson, and documentation of Joseph Henry's and Spencer F. Baird's efforts to obtain information on Smithson's past.
Folder 1 "James Smithson and His Bequest," by William J. Rhees, 1886; letter from Charles G. Abbot to John Hix concerning a copy of Smithson's biography, 1930; "Notes on the Life and Character of Joseph Henry," by James C. Welling for the Philosophical Society of Washington, 1880; "The Scientific Writings of James Smithson," by William J. Rhees (2 copies), 1879; Reprint of "Shall the Remains of James Smithson Be Brought to America?" by Gilbert H. Grosvenor, 1903; "On the Works and Character of James Smithson," by J. R. McD. Irby, 1878; "A Memoir on the Scientific Character and Researches of James Smithson," by Walter R. Johnson, 1844
Folder 2 Spencer F. Baird's advertisement in Nature for information on Smithson's past, 1880; Spencer F. Baird's circular to William Wesley with questions pertaining to Smithson's past, undated
Folder 3 Book on the Percy family history, author and date unknown; photographs in Harper's Weekly of arrival of Smithson's remains in U. S., page 334, 1904
Series 7ITEMS REMOVED FROM PREVIOUS SERIES
ORIGINAL NEWS CLIPPINGS (REMOVED FROM SERIES 4)
Folder 1 Original newspaper articles from across U. S. on the destruction of cemetery in Genoa and supporting possible transfer of Smithson's remains to America, 1903; article from newspapers, "Shall the Tomb of James Smithson Be Brought to America?" by Gilbert H. Grosvenor (explains the situation surrounding the need to move Smithson's remains to the U. S.); newspaper article, "James Smithson's Ashes," author unknown, (details on destruction of cemetery in Genoa and outlines history of SI), 1903; illustrations of Smithson's tomb in Genoa, undated - Preservation photocopies of these originals are in Box 7, Folder 7
Folder 2 Original photos of the arrival of Smithson's remains in America in Harper's Weekly, 1904; newspaper article, "Smithson to Repose in Land He Benefitted," with photo of Alexander Graham Bell, 1904; newspaper photos of Smithson's tomb in Genoa and Alexander Graham Bell, 1904; Washington Times photo of Smithson Mortuary Chapel, 1905 - Preservation photocopies of these originals are in Box 7, Folder 8
Folder 3 Original newspaper photos of SI and bust of Smithson, 1904 - Preservation photocopies of these originals are in Box 7, Folder 9
Folder 4 Original newspaper article on sealing Smithson's tomb in America, 1905 - Preservation photocopies of these originals are in Box 7, Folder 10
ITEMS REMOVED FROM SERIES 1-3
Folder 1 Henry James Hungerford's passport for travel in France and Italy, 1829 (Smithson's nephew) [Removed from Box 2, Folder 11]
Folder 2 Robert Dale Owen's support for SI, 1844 [Removed from Box 4, Folder 3]
Folder 3 Letter from the Treasury Department, 1840 [Removed from Box 4, Folder 3]
Folder 4 Photocopy of letters from Aaron Vail to Forsyth over what to do with Smithson's estate [Removed from Box 4, Folder 3]
Folder 5 Pedigrees of Smithson's family, 1894 and undated [Removed from Box 5, Folder 4]
Folder 1 Topographical map of Genoa, Italy, 1885 [Removed from Box 5, Folder 3]
Folder 2 Drawing of Smithson's tomb in Genoa, undated [1 Item Removed from Box 6, Folder 2]
Folder 3 Drawing of proposed Smithson Mortuary Chapel, 1905 [Removed from Box 7, Folder 6]
Using the Archives' Collections