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, Richard Rush, Joseph G. Totten. The members not present were Roger Brooke Taney, Issac S. Pennybacker, Sidney Breese, Henry W. Hilliard, Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, and William C. Preston.
  • The Chancellor presented the board with a letter from Joseph Henry accepting the position of secretary, a letter from Ellis Lewis accompanied with a list of works on engravings which he proposed to sell to the Institution, and a letter from Francis Lieber stating his opinion on how the Institution should be run. Mr. Seaton presented a letter from William A. Coleman relating to "the furnishing of books for the Institution." From the committee appointed to speak with the U.S. President and other members outlined in the fourth section of the act to establish the Institution as to the building site selected by the board, Mr. Hough made a verbal report stating that the committee had "had an interview...but had come to no final conclusion." The board then adjourned to meet the following Monday at 10:00 AM.


  • Seaton, William Winston 1785-1866
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Dallas, George Mifflin 1792-1864
  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Lieber, Francis 1800-1872
  • Lewis, Ellis 1798-1871
  • Coleman, William
  • Evans, George 1797-1867
  • 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
  • Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • 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 Libraries
  • United States President
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1846/12/14 Regents Minutes
  • Board of Regents - Minutes of Meetings, 1846-


The Board of Regents learned that Joseph Henry had accepted his election as first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

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 14, 1846


  • Graphic arts
  • Secretariats
  • Secretaries
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Regents


Geographical Heading


  • Board of Regents
  • Engraving

Physical description

Number of pages: 2; Page numbers: 17-18

Full Record

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