Charles D. Walcott Elected Secretary

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Charles Doolittle Walcott (1850-1927) is elected the fourth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. He serves a twenty-year term from 1907 to 1927. Walcott was a well-known geologist and explorer, who had succeeded John Wesley Powell as director of the U.S. Geological Survey. The Regents had earlier elected Henry Fairfield Osborn of the American Museum of Natural History as Secretary on December 4, 1906, but Osborn apparently declined the position.


  • Walcott, Charles D (Charles Doolittle) 1850-1927
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Board of Regents


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • The Annual Report for 1907 notes that at the December 4, 1906 meeting, Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn of New York is elected Secretary. However, Walcott is elected at the next meeting held on January 23, 1907.
  • Oehser, Paul H. The Smithsonian Institution. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, p. 54.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1907. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1908, p. xii, xvii.

Contact information

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


January 23, 1907


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