Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1861

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


  • Present: James A. Pearce, James M. Mason, Stephen A. Douglas, William H. English, Benjamin Stanton, Joseph G. Totten, Alexander Dallas Bache, Also Present: Joseph Henry. Members not present were John C. Breckinridge, Roger B. Taney, James G. Barret, and George E. Badger.
  • Mr. Mason was called to the chair. The Secretary stated that there were three vacancies on the Board created by the expirations of the terms of Gideon Hawley and Cornelius C. Felton, and the death of Richard Rush. Mr. Pearce presented the report of the Executive Committee with estimates for the year 1861; which was read and adopted. A communication relative to the Wynn estate was read. The Secretary stated that since Mr. Rush's death no communication had been received in regard to the remainder of the Smithson Bequest. It was resolved that the Secretary communicate with the attorneys in London regarding this. On the motion of Mr. English it was resolved that the Secretary adjust the accounts of the Regents for traveling expenses at each annual meeting. A letter was read relative to the debt of the State of Arkansas. The Secretary stated he had replied that the Regents are in no way interested in this matter.
  • A communication addressed to the Board from H.A. Gaston requesting aid in introducing a new steam engine was read. The Secretary stated this was one of many such letters he receives and on principle does not endorse the merits of any invention. A memorial was presented from distinguished citizens of Philadelphia regarding Mr. T.S.C. Lowe's attempt to cross the Atlantic by aeronautic machinery. On the motion of Mr. Mason, it was resolved that the Secretary give Mr. Lowe any advice he deems fit, but cannot make any appropriations. Several communications received by the Secretary from David P. Holton were read and referred to the Executive Committee. Several letters were presented by the Secretary regarding the international exchange, offering articles and services to the institution from Ferd. Muller, and acknowledging the receipt of specimens. Copies of Several papers and miscellaneous articles published by the Institution were laid before the Board. The fact stated that the Potomac water had been brought to the grounds of the Institution by the city. The Secretary presented his annual report of the operations of the institution, which was read in part. The Board then adjourned to meet on Tuesday, February 19, at 8 o'clock pm.


  • Berret, James Gabriel
  • English, William Hayden
  • Gartrell, Lucius Jeremiah
  • Mason, James Murray
  • 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
  • Breckinridge, John C (John Cabell) 1821-1875
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Badger, George Edmund 1795-1866
  • Felton, Cornelius Conway 1807-1862
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • International Exchange Service (IES)
  • Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee


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
  • February 16, 1861


  • Plumbing
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Airplanes
  • Letters
  • Specimens
  • Steam engines
  • Board of Regents
  • Arkansas


  • Potomac River
  • Arkansas


  • Election of officers
  • Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 00; Page numbers: 0-000

Full Record

View Full Record