Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1846

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  • Present: George M. Dallas, William W. Seaton, George Evans, Robert Dale Owen, William J. Hough, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph G. Totten, Richard Rush. The members not present were Roger Brooke Taney, Isaac S. Pennybacker, Sidney Breese, Henry W. Hilliard, Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, and William C. Preston.
  • With a quorum requirement of five set in the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution, the board came to order. On behalf of the committee appointed to obtain the written consent of the U.S. President and those outlined in section 4 of the act to establish the Institution as to the board's site selection for its the building, Mr. William Jervis Hough reported that he was unable to "obtain the consent of all said persons," but that many "signified their readiness to give such consent." The Board then resolved to appoint a committee of three to "confer" with the U.S. President and those named in the fourth section of said act in order to "ask their consent to the selection by said regents of that portion of said reservation lying between Seventh and Twelfth streets west, in said city, as the site for the necessary buildings of said institution," and if permission is received, to build there at least two hundred and fifty feet south of the middle; after which Mr. Hough, Mr. Owen, and Mr. Evans were appointed.
  • Mr. Seaton then presented a "communication" from Mr. George Catlin, accompanied by a "catalogue of his Indian Gallery," and offering his collection to the Institution. The board then adjourned until the following Monday at 10:00 AM.


  • Catlin, George 1796-1872
  • Seaton, William Winston 1785-1866
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Dallas, George Mifflin 1792-1864
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Evans, George 1797-1867
  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Pennybacker, Isaac Samuels 1805-1847
  • Breese, Sidney 1800-1878
  • Hilliard, Henry W (Henry Washington) 1808-1892
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Polk, James K (James Knox) 1795-1849
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • 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
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Catlin Indian Gallery
  • United States President (1845-1849 : Polk)


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1846/12/09 Regents Minutes
  • Board of Regents - Minutes of Meetings, 1846-


The Board of Regents established a committee to obtain permission for their building site.

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
  • December 9, 1846


  • Art
  • Art, American
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Artists
  • Private collections
  • Regents
  • Art--Private collections
  • Art--United States


United States


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 2; Page numbers:16-17

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