Passage of Act to Establish the Smithsonian Institution




Date: August 10, 1846


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Years of debate over the terms of James Smithson's 1826 bequest to the United States result in the passage of the "Act to Establish the 'Smithsonian Institution,' for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge among Men," Public Law 76, 29th Congress, 1st Session.


  • Smithsonian Institution Establishment of
  • 29th Congress, Session 1, 1846


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Image is of Act establishing the Smithsonian Institution, August 10, 1846, Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number 96-1652.
  • Marc Rothenberg, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Princeton Years, January 1844 - December 1846, vol. 6. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 463.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


August 10, 1846


Smithson Bequest

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