Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1846

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  • Present: George M. Dallas, Roger B. Taney, William W. Seaton, George Evans, Robert Dale Owen, William J. Hough, Alexander Dallas Bache, Richard Rush, Joseph G. Totten. Also Present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Issac S. Pennybacker, Sidney Breese, Henry W. Hilliard, Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, and William C. Preston.
  • Mr. Owen presented a letter from Professor D.P. Gardner requesting to be conferred with regarding the selection of scientific teachers and lecturers; the letter was accompanied by three papers written by Professor Gardner, which were accepted into the Institution's library. On behalf of the committee appointed to confer with the U.S. President and the others outlined in the fourth section of the act to establish the Institution as to the building site selection, Mr. Hough made a verbal report accompanied by a statement from President James K. Polk stating, "The consent of all persons named in the fourth section of the act to establish the Smithsonian Institution is not given to the site herein selected," after which the board resolved to choose said site if permission of such people could "be obtained thereto" and that "a description of the same shall be made, and recorded in the book of records of the proceedings of the Board...and signed by the Regents."
  • The board then ordered that Mr. Hough. Mr. Owen, and Mr. Evans be a committee to "communicate said resolution " to the U.S. President and those outlined in the fourth section of the act to establish the Institution. Mr. Seaton presented the application of Alexander B. McFarland for the masonry work of the buildings. The board then adjourned to meet the following Wednesday at 10:00 AM in the room of the U.S. Vice-President in the capitol building.


  • Polk, James K (James Knox) 1795-1849
  • McFarland, Alexander
  • 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
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Evans, George 1797-1867
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Gardner, D. P
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Pennybacker, Isaac Samuels 1805-1847
  • Breese, Sidney 1800-1878
  • Hilliard, Henry W (Henry Washington) 1808-1892
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • United States President
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • United States Patent Office
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • United States. Secretary of State
  • United States. Secretary of War
  • United States. Secretary of the Navy
  • United States. Secretary of the Treasury


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1846/12/23 Regents Minutes
  • Board of Regents - Minutes of Meetings, 1846-

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,


  • 1846
  • December 23, 1846


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


Board of Regents

Physical description

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

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