Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1847

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  • Present: George M. Dallas, William W. Seaton, George Evans, Sidney Breese, Robert Dale Owen, William J. Hough, Henry W. Hilliard, Richard Rush, Alexander Dallas Bache, and Lewis Cass who replaced the late Isaac S. Pennybacker. Also Present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Roger B. Taney, Joseph G. Totten, Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, William C. Preston.
  • On behalf of the committee appointed to confer with the U.S. President and others outlined in the fourth section of the act to establish the Institution as to the building site selection, Mr. Owen reported that he had received said people's permission. Mr. Rush presented a letter from Clarke, Fynmore, and Fladgate, solicitors from London, stating that Madame de la Batut was alive. Mr. Hough presented a letter from Daniel Lee describing his "peculiar fitness" for the position of agricultural chemistry professor. Mr. Bach presented various letters recommending Titian R. Peale for the position of curator of the Institution. The chancellor presented a letter from the assistant secretary, B. B. French, listing the books he had received for the Institution's library. On behalf of the Committee on Buildings, the chancellor made a report and introduced four resolutions regarding the choice of architectural plans, what to pay, how to inform each architect of the board's decision, and the formation of a committee to enter into contracts for the building's construction, which were postponed for consideration.
  • The chancellor presented a "memorial of the citizens of the District of Columbia remonstrating" against the use of New York marble for the construction of the Institution's building if it was to be prepared by the convicts at Sing Sing prison in New York. Mr. Seaton presented a letter from Alexander Hunter recommending J. Carroll Brept for an appointment. Mr. Hilliard presented a letter from John Notman giving a description and cost estimate of the architectural design he had submitted. Mr. Owen presented a letter from Wells and Arnot explaining their drawings of their plan for the Institution's building and giving a cost estimate of it. The board then resolved that any architects who had presented plans to be considered by the Committee on Buildings could present any explanations of their plans to the Board the following day at 10:00 AM. The board ordered that the daily hour of meeting be 10:00 AM, unless otherwise noted, and then adjourned until the following day at 10:00 AM.


  • Pennybacker, Isaac Samuels 1805-1847
  • 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
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Evans, George 1797-1867
  • Cass, Lewis
  • Peale, Titian Ramsay
  • French, Benjamin B (Benjamin Brown) 1800-1870
  • Renwick, James 1818-1895
  • de la Batut, Mary Ann
  • Haviland, John 1792-1852
  • Lee, Daniel
  • Notman, John 1810-1865
  • Warren, Owen G
  • Hunter, Alexander
  • Brent, John Carroll 1814-1876
  • Clarke, Thomas
  • Fynmore, T. G
  • Fladgate, W. M
  • Arnot, D. H (David Henry)
  • Wells, D., Jr
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Board of Regents
  • United States President
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • Smithsonian Institution Building Early History
  • Clarke, Fynmore & Fladgate
  • 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
  • Wells and Arnot


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1847/01/20 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
  • January 20, 1847


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


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 3; Page numbers: 20-22

Full Record

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