Hough, William Jervis (03/20/1795-10/04/1869)

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  • Occupation: Attorney
  • Committees/Roles: At the first meeting of 9/8/1846, Hough was elected the first Secretary of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. Permanent Committees: Elected to Committee on Buildings, 09/08/1846. Ad Hoc Committees: Elected to Committee to introduce to Congress an amendatory bill on 12/05/1846; Committee to get the permission of those outlined in the act to establish the Institution regarding the board's selection of a building site on 12/09/1846; Sub-Committee of the Building Committee regarding a letter from Mr. Notman on 2/05/1847.
  • Number of Terms: 1


  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Notman, John 1810-1865
  • Board of Regents
  • United States Congress
  • Representative
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Board of Regents Ad hoc committees
  • United States Patent Office
  • United States. Secretary of State
  • United States. Secretary of War
  • United States. Secretary of the Navy
  • United States. Secretary of the Treasury
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • Democratic Party (U.S.)


Smithsonian Board of Regents

Regent images can be seen at

Images of this Regent can be found in the following repositories: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; RU 95, Smithsonian Institution Archives

Regent type

Representative (Democrat)


New York


  • Hough played a significant role in founding the Smithsonian Institution. He drafted the compromise legislation that became law on August 10, 1846.
  • Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1971. The Continental Congress (September 5, 1774 to October 21, 1788) and the Congress of the United States (from the first through the ninety-first Congress March 4, 1789, to January 3, 1971, inclusive). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1971; Who Was Who in America. A component volume of "Who's Who in American History." Historical Volume, 1607-1896. Revised Edition. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1967

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


Regent Tenure: 08/10/1846-12/1847


  • Design
  • Legislators
  • Politicians
  • Architects
  • Architecture
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Lawyers
  • Regents
  • New York
  • Architectural design


  • New York
  • United States



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