Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1846

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  • Present: Vice President George M. Dallas, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, Washington Mayor William W. Seaton, George Evans, Isaac S. Pennybacker, Robert Dale Owen, William J. Hough, Henry W. Hilliard, Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph G. Totten. The members not present were Sidney Breese, Henry W. Hilliard, and William C. Preston.
  • The U.S. President appropriated a room in the General Post Office building for use of the Board of Regents of the newly established Smithsonian Institution. George M. Dallas was appointed president and William J. Hough secretary for preliminary proceedings. The board resolved to appoint William McPeak as doorkeeper and messenger; to adopt the "Rules and Orders" of the U.S. Senate to govern itself; that the Secretary of the institution, when elected, was to obtain a copy of the joint resolution of both Houses which appointed several of the regents; that the Secretary was also to obtain a "certificate of appointment of the Regents from their respective Houses" and place it on file with the institution; that any further action regarding officer elections be postponed until the next day when the Regents were to meet at 10:00 AM.


  • Dallas, George Mifflin 1792-1864
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • McPeake, William c. 1792-1862
  • Seaton, William Winston 1785-1866
  • Evans, George 1797-1867
  • Pennybacker, Isaac Samuels 1805-1847
  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Hilliard, Henry W (Henry Washington) 1808-1892
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Breese, Sidney 1800-1878
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • General Post Office Building
  • Board of Regents
  • United States Congress House
  • United States Congress Senate


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1846/09/07 Regents Minutes
  • Board of Regents - Minutes of Meetings, 1846-


  • This was the first meeting of the Board of Regents, which is the governing board for the Smithsonian Institution.
  • Can also be found in published form in Board of Regents Reports 1846, published by John T. Towers.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 1, Board of Regents Vol. 1 (Bound volume)

Contact information

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


  • 1879
  • September 7, 1846


  • Strategic planning
  • Board of Regents
  • Regents


  • Procedures
  • Election of officers
  • Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 2; Page numbers: 19-20

Full Record

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