Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1846

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


  • Present: George M. Dallas, Roger B. Taney, 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. The members not present were Sidney Breese, William C. Preston, and Joseph G. Totten.
  • Mr. Owen presented building plans of architects David Dale Owen and Robert Mills. The regents resolved that the Chancellor, Secretary, and Executive Committee be "authorized and instructed to take such measures as may be deemed by them most proper to obtain plans for the erection of buildings" and to make a report accordingly to the board at its next meeting, along with information on the best materials and ways to heat, light, and ventilate the building, and a cost estimate; to extend thanks to David Dale Owen for his architectural plans and to refer any other plans submitted to the board to the Committee on Buildings; that this committee be authorized, at the expense of the board, to visit various structures, speak with experts, and purchase materials they deem necessary to accomplish their assignment.
  • The Board also resolved that their meetings would take place on the second Wednesday of December and the third Wednesday of February in each year and on the first Wednesday of June in each alternate year, beginning in June of 1848; that Mr. Rush ascertain whether Madame de la Batut was living, and if not, how to "obtain the fund reverting to the Unites States;" to authorize the Executive Committee to pay any legal fee incurred and reported by Mr. Rush; to request that the Secretary contract the printing of two hundred and fifty copies of the original laws accepting Smithson's gift and establishing the Institution and the names and addresses of the Board of Regents, with six copies to be sent to each regent and each member of the Establishment.
  • The board then resolved that the subject of a building site be referred to the Committee on Buildings and that they report at the next meeting; that Mr. Choate and Mr. Pennybacker be added to the committee established the previous day to create a plan for the Institution; to request that the secretary collect all documents connected to the history of the Smithsonian and bind them "as a commencement of its library." William Archer then presented to the board his plan and cost estimate for a building, which was referred to the Committee on Buildings. The Board then adjourned until the last Monday of the following November.


  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Dallas, George Mifflin 1792-1864
  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Hilliard, Henry W (Henry Washington) 1808-1892
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Evans, George 1797-1867
  • Pennybacker, Isaac Samuels 1805-1847
  • Mills, Robert 1781-1855
  • de la Batut, Mary Ann
  • Archer, William
  • Owen, David Dale 1807-1860
  • Seaton, William Winston 1785-1866
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Breese, Sidney 1800-1878
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Act to authorize President to prosecute claim of U.S. to Smithson legacy
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee Committee on Organization


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

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


The Committee on Buildings was established and given its first assignment.

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 9, 1846


  • Design
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Architects
  • Architecture
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Board of Regents
  • Regents
  • Architectural design


  • Meeting schedule
  • Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 3; Page numbers: 3-5

Full Record

View Full Record