U.S. Diplomats and the Smithsonian

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Provides a historical overview of the role of diplomats in the early history of the Smithsonian, especially the transfer of the bequest from Great Britain to the United States and maintenance of James Smithson's grave site in Genoa, Italy, until his remains were moved to the Smithsonian in 1904. Discusses the roles of such individuals as Aaron Vail, Richard Rush, John Quincy Adams and Alexander Graham Bell.


  • Adams, John Quincy 1767-1848
  • Bell, Alexander Graham 1847-1922
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Vail, Aaron 1796-1878
  • United States Dept. of State


Smithsonian History Bibliography

Citation information

Foreign Service Heritage series of articles

Contained within

Foreign Service Journal (Journal)

Contact information

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


February 2012


  • Smithson Bequest
  • Smithson, James
  • Diplomacy
  • Death and burial
  • Diplomats
  • Smithson, James--Death and burial


Genoa (Italy)

Physical description

Number of pages : 03; Page numbers : 27-29

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