Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1847

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  • Present: George M. Dallas, William W. Seaton, James A. Pearce, Sidney Breese, William J. Hough, Robert Dale Owen, Alexander Dallas Bache, Gideon Hawley, and Joseph G. Totten. Also Present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Roger B. Taney, Lewis Cass, Henry W. Hilliard, Rufus Choate, Richard Rush, and William C. Preston.
  • The chancellor presented an application from Messrs. Bailey & Co., asking to be employed in the construction of a clock for one of the towers of the Institution's building. Mr. Seaton presented a letter from the trustees of the Bank of the United States in Philadelphia offering to sell various portraits of revolutionary patriots to the Institution. The board resolved that the Executive Committee "cause to be printed" one thousand copies of the address delivered by the chancellor "on the occasion of laying the corner-stone of the building," and that the secretary give to each member of the Senate and House of Representatives a copy when printed.
  • The board also resolved that "so much of the programme the his recent is contained in sections Nos. 1 and provisionally adopted," and that the secretary be "charged with the execution of the details," as far as appropriated funds would permit, and that he be directed to report annually to the board the progress of his duty. The board then resolved that the Executive Committee be directed to report, after consultation with the secretary, "in relation to the appropriation desirable for the execution of the parts of the programme which have been provisionally accepted." Mr. Owen asked to be "excused from further service" on the Executive Committee, which was not agreed to by the board.
  • Col. Totten asked for the same, explaining that his commitment to the Building Committee took all the time he could spare, which was "carried" by the board. The board then elected by ballot Mr. Bache to fill the vacancy left by Col Totten on the Executive Committee. The secretary presented the application of Messrs. Baker & Scribner requesting "a new certificate of the deposit of a book presented in accordance wit the act authorizing the establishment of the institution." The board then resolved that the secretary inform Messrs.. Baker & Scribner that the board "do not feel authorized to grant a new certificate, though, as far as the rights of the institution are concerned, they are perfectly satisfied with the deposit of the book."
  • The secretary presented a list of books received following the tenth section of the act of Congress establishing the Institution and a list of books presented to the Institution. The board then adjourned to meet the following Wednesday at 1:00 PM.


  • Seaton, William Winston 1785-1866
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Breese, Sidney 1800-1878
  • Dallas, George Mifflin 1792-1864
  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Cass, Lewis
  • Hilliard, Henry W (Henry Washington) 1808-1892
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Board of Regents
  • United States Congress House
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee
  • United States Congress Senate
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • Bailey & Co
  • Baker & Scribner
  • Board of Regents Ad hoc committees
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL)
  • Bank of the United States (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Programme of Organization


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1847/12/13 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
  • December 13, 1847


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


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 2; Page numbers: 41-42

Full Record

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