Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1856

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  • Present: Roger B. Taney, James A. Pearce, William H. English, Hiram Warner, and Joseph G. Totten. Also Present: Joseph Henry. Members not present were John T. Towers, Stephen A. Douglas, James M. Mason, Benjamin Stanton, Alexander Dallas Bache, Cornelius C. Felton, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and George E. Badger.
  • Mr. English presented the report of the Building Committee for the year 1855. Mr. Pearce presented the annual report of the Executive Committee, containing an account of the finances during the year 1855 and estimations for 1856 which was read and adopted. On the motion of Mr. Pearce, a resolution that the annual meeting of the Board be held on the third Wednesday of January to give sufficient time to make up the year's accounts was adopted. The Secretary presented a a letter regarding the Wynn estate, which was referred to Mr. Mason. The Secretary stated the Messrs. Corcoran and Riggs did not want to keep the extra funds of the Institution and on the motion of Mr. Warner is was resolved that the committee appointed on the 24th of February inquire and report on this matter.
  • The Secretary read a letter from Frederick Gotteri of Malta relative to the establishment of a school of silk culture and manufacture which was referred to the Commissioner of Patents. A communication from the Assistant General Secretary of the British Association for the Advancement of Science was read which approved a suggestion to collaborate with the Institution on a catalogue of all American memoirs on physical science. The Secretary stated a number of steamship and railroad companies had granted special facilities to the Institution, including free transport. On the motion of General Totten, a resolution to thank all steamship and railroad companies who did so was adopted.
  • The Secretary read a letter from the trustees of Hamilton College asking for the appointment of men to inspect their new telescope. On the motion of Mr. English, a resolution that the matter be referred to Messrs. Bache, Totten and Henry was adopted. A letter from the Corresponding Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Asa Gray, was read presenting the thanks of the Academy for the exchange of publications the Institution facilitated. The Board then adjourned to meet on Saturday the 22d instant, at 11 o'clock am.


  • English, William Hayden
  • Mason, James Murray
  • Warner, Hiram
  • Stanton, Benjamin 1809-1872
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Towers, John Thomas 1811-1857
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Badger, George Edmund 1795-1866
  • Felton, Cornelius Conway 1807-1862
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Board of Regents Committee on Buildings
  • Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee
  • International Exchange Service (IES)


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • 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, 900 Jefferson Drive, SW, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012,


  • 1879
  • March 8, 1856


  • Telescopes
  • Exchanges, Literary and scientific


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 9; Page numbers: 561-569

Full Record

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