Petition to Board of Regents, 11/13/1869

ID: SIA2016-011423a

Creator: Unknown

Form/Genre: Document

Date: November 13, 1869

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives Record Unit 26, Vol. 84, p. 217

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This petition to the Smithsonian Board of Regents on behalf of Solomon G. Brown, a clerk, for a promotion at the Smithsonian. An unidentified group of African Americans in Brown's neighborhood believed that Brown, who was very active in the community, was being passed up for a promotion he deserved.


  • Brown, Solomon Galleon c. 1829-1906
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • United States National Museum
  • Board of Regents


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


Solomon G. Brown was hired as the Smithsonian Institution's first African American employee, spending most of his career as a clerk to Spencer Fullerton Baird. Brown worked for 54 years at the Smithsonian (1850-1904), fulfilling many duties under secretaries Joseph Henry, Spencer Fullerton Baird, and Samuel P. Langley. Brown formed a very close bond with Baird, becoming his "eyes and ears" when Baird was out of town. He was also a naturalist, poet, illustrator, and lecturer. Although he had no formal education, Brown was known by many as Professor Brown.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives Record Unit 26, Vol. 84, p. 217

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


November 13, 1869

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions


  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Wages
  • African Americans
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • District of Columbia
  • United States
  • Washington


  • Document
  • Paper

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 8w x 10h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Paper

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