William McPeake Hired as Smithsonian Doorkeeper and Messenger

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Summary

At the first meeting of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, on 7 September 1846, the president of the board, George M. Dallas, appointed William McPeake as doorkeeper and messenger to the board. McPeake, then, is the first paid employee of the Smithsonian Institution. McPeake worked for the board, especially the Building Committee, until his death in 1862, at a salary of $1. per day.

Subject

  • Dallas, George Mifflin 1792-1864
  • McPeake, William c. 1792-1862
  • Board of Regents
  • Building Committee

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • The Journal of Proceedings of the Board of Regents and Joseph Henry's correspondence both spell his name as McPeak, however, census data and his obituary establish that it is spelled as McPeake.
  • Journal of Proceedings of the Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, September 7, 1846. In Report from the Board of Regents, Submitted to Congress, Of the operations, expenditures, and condition of the Smithsonian Institution. G. M. Dallas, Chancellor. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution: March 3, 1847, p. 2.
  • Rothenberg, M., et al, editor. The Papers of Joseph Henry, January 1847-December 1849, The Smithsonian Years, Volume 7. Washington, D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996, p. 81 note.

Contact information

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

Date

September 7, 1846

Topic

  • Labor unions
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • SI, Early History
  • Employees
  • Labor
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees

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