Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1847

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  • Present: George M. Dallas, William W. Seaton, George Evans, Lewis Cass, Sidney Breese, Robert Dale Owen, William J. Hough, Henry W. Hilliard, Alexander Dallas Bache, Rufus Choate. Also Present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Roger B. Taney, Joseph G. Totten, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and William C. Preston.
  • On motion of Mr. Owen, the board proceeded to consideration of the motion made by Mr. Bache on January 30 to reconsider the vote by which the resolution authorizing the publication of architectural plans and explanations was adopted, which was agreed to after debate. The board resolved to amend the resolution so that the Building Committee, in conjunction with the secretary, "may be authorized to publish, in such form as they may deem most appropriate, one thousand copies of a brief treatise, to be entitled 'Hints on Public Architecture,' and to be illustrated with designs of the plan of the building adopted...and...any other designs that are the property of the institution," for under the price of $1,000. The board resolved that the secretary was to add to the report of the Organization Committee, when printed, Smithson's will and the acts accepting his gift and establishing the Institution.
  • The board proceeded to consideration of the resolution offered by Mr. Evans on January 30 and resolved that an "assistant to the Secretary" should be appointed to perform various tasks "as may be required by him" including acting as clerk for the building and executive committees and other record-keeping activities. The board then proceeded to to appoint a committee of three in accordance with the fifth section of the act to establish the Institution, appointing Joseph Totten, Robert Dale Owen, and William Seaton. The board ordered that Mr. Bache be appointed temporarily to the Executive Committee and Mr. Hough temporarily in to the Building Committee in place of Mr. Totten who was in Mexico and resolved that when any member of a committee was absent, the remaining members were authorized to appoint someone temporarily to fill the absent member's place.
  • The secretary presented a letter from John Notman requesting "early action of the Board of Regents upon his bill" for the architectural plans he submitted; the board resolved that this letter be referred to a committee to be formed consisting of Mr. Owen and Mr. Hough and that this committee be given the instructions to report in writing "especially in reference to the details of any engagement or understanding heretofore entered into with the architects, respecting the plans to be furnished...and remuneration therefor." Mr. Owen offered a resolution regarding a sum to be paid to Isaiah Rogers, which was referred to the committee that Notman's letter was referred to. The board then adjourned.


  • Cass, Lewis
  • Seaton, William Winston 1785-1866
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Breese, Sidney 1800-1878
  • Dallas, George Mifflin 1792-1864
  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Hilliard, Henry W (Henry Washington) 1808-1892
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Evans, George 1797-1867
  • Notman, John 1810-1865
  • Rogers, Isaiah 1800-1869
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee Committee on Organization
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings Subcommittee regarding architects Notman and Rogers
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • Act to authorize President to prosecute claim of U.S. to Smithson legacy
  • Hints on Public Architecture containing, among other illustrations, views and plans of the Smithsonian Institution : together with an appendix relative to building materials, prepared, on behalf of the Building Committee of the Smithsonian Institution, by Robert Dale Owen (Book)


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1847/02/05 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,


  • 1879
  • February 5, 1847


  • Design
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Assistant Secretaries
  • Publishers and publishing
  • Law
  • Architects
  • Architecture
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Wills
  • Regents
  • Architectural design
  • Legislation


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 2; Page numbers: 32-33

Full Record

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