Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1856

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  • Present: Roger B. Taney, John T. Towers, Stephen A. Douglas, James M. Mason, William H. English, Hiram Warner, Joseph G. Totten, Also Present: Joseph Henry and William W. Seaton. Members not present were James A. Pearce, Benjamin Stanton, Alexander Dallas Bache, Cornelius C. Felton, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and George E. Badger.
  • Mr. Mason stated that he had made an examination of the Wynn estate. After some remarks, on the motion of Mr. Douglas it was resolved that Messrs. Mason and English be appointed to draft a bill for Congress asking for the authority to receive funds and legacies and to sue and be sued. The Secretary presented the subject of the removal of the collection of objects of natural history, now in the Patent Office, to the Smithsonian Building. The Secretary presented a manuscript work on bibliography by Mr. Ludewig. A letter from Mr. William J. Stone of Washington was read offering copies of European statues.
  • The Secretary exhibited a new form of meteorological blanks and a rain gauge which he had prepared. The Secretary presented a resolution unanimously adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education to cooperate with the Institution's meteorological project. The Secretary also presented a manuscript translation of a memoir on the origin of the human race by Baron Muller of Marseilles, France. He also exhibited a copy of a book on Egypt by Lepsius presented to the library by the Prussian Government; a valuable work on Russian Antiquities fro the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg; a portfolio of colored engravings illustrating the Mosque of St. Sophia, Constantinople from the Sultan and other valuable donations. The Board then adjourned to meet at the call of the Secretary, and afterwards visited the different parts of the building.


  • 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
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Badger, George Edmund 1795-1866
  • Felton, Cornelius Conway 1807-1862
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Meteorological Project
  • Board of Regents


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 22, 1856


  • Books and reading
  • Statues
  • Bequest
  • Manuscripts
  • Books
  • Bibliography


  • France
  • Russia


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 21; Page numbers: 569-590

Full Record

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