Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1847

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  • Present: George M. Dallas, William W. Seaton, Lewis Cass, James A. Pearce, Henry W. Hilliard, William J. Hough, Robert Dale Owen, Alexander Dallas Bache, and Joseph G. Totten. Also Present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Roger B. Taney, Sidney Breese, Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and William C. Preston.
  • The board resolved that because Richard Rush had been appointed "plenipotentiary to France" and would be away from the U.S. indefinitely, that his office as a member of the Board of Regents had become vacant; that Mr. Pearce be a committee to introduce to the Senate "the necessary joint resolution of the two houses of Congress" for the appointment of Mr. Owen to fill such vacancy, following the third section of the act to establish the institution; that the board recommend to the Establishment the election of Richard Rush as an honorary member; that the chancellor request a meeting of the Establishment for proposing Richard Rush as an honorary member and that he communicate with Mr. Rush the regret of the board "at his absence," his "consequent retirement," and why the board "induced...the step of filling the vacancy."
  • The board also resolved that the chancellor and chairmen of "the respective committees of the board" form a committee to "prepare and present to Congress...after consultation with the Secretary, the annual report of the Board of Regents to Congress" and that Mr. Cass and Mr. Hilliard be requested to "move in their respective houses for the printing of an additional number of copies." The secretary announced a telegraph from Mr. Choate stating that he would be in Washington the following Monday. The board then adjourned to the following Tuesday at 11:00 AM.


  • Cass, Lewis
  • 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
  • Hilliard, Henry W (Henry Washington) 1808-1892
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Breese, Sidney 1800-1878
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Preston, William C. 1794-1860
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Board of Regents
  • United States Congress House
  • United States Congress
  • United States Congress Senate
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • Board of Regents Ad hoc committees
  • Smithsonian Year
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 1847/12/17 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 17, 1847


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


  • Procedures
  • Election of officers
  • Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 2; Page numbers: 44-45

Full Record

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