Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1857

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  • Present: John C. Breckinridge, Roger B. Taney, William B. Magruder, James M. Mason, Stephen A. Douglas, Alexander Dallas Bache, and Joseph G. Totten. Also Present: Joseph Henry. Members not present were James A. Pearce, William H. English, Hiram Warner, Benjamin Stanton, Cornelius C. Felton, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and George E. Badger.
  • The Chancellor, Roger B. Taney, presented a letter resigning the office of Chancellor in favor of the Vice-President, John C. Breckinridge. Mr. Breckinridge moved that Mr. Taney be re-elected to that office and the motion was adopted unanimously. The Secretary announced that Richard Rush and Joseph G. Totten had been re-elected regents for six years and that James A. Pearce and James M. Mason had been reappointed regents for six years as well. The Secretary announced to the Board that three distinguished correspondents of the Institution had deceased: Prof. J.W. Bailey, Dr. E.K. Kane, and Mr. W.C. Redfield. Prof. Bache offered appropriate remarks and Gen. Totten and Prof. Bache offered resolutions in their memory.
  • A communication from Dr. Robert Hare was read relative to the practical construction of minute-weights and measures. On the motion of Dr. Magruder, resolutions that Dr. Hare's report be sent to Congress and the Treasury were adopted. A communication from J.A. Johnson was read an referred to the Executive Committee and the Secretary. The Secretary made a communication to the Board, relative to to an article by S.F.B. Morse containing charges against his moral character and scientific reputation. The Chancellor made a few remarks on this topic and, on the motion of Mr. Mason, it was resolved that this issue be referred to a committee. Whereupon the Chancellor appointed Messrs. Mason, Pearce, Felton, and Douglas as the committee. The Board then adjourned sine die.


  • English, William Hayden
  • Magruder, William Beans Dr
  • Mason, James Murray
  • Warner, Hiram
  • Stanton, Benjamin 1809-1872
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Morse, Samuel Finley Breese 1791-1872
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Badger, George Edmund 1795-1866
  • Felton, Cornelius Conway 1807-1862
  • Breckinridge, John C (John Cabell) 1821-1875
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • 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 16, 1857


  • Telegraph
  • Inventors
  • Letters
  • Controversies
  • Inventions
  • Death
  • Board of Regents


  • Election of officers
  • Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 5; Page numbers: 608-612

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