Hough Introduces Compromise SI Legislation

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Representative William Jervis Hough of New York introduces compromise legislation which incorporates most of the features of the Owen and Tappan bills to establish a Smithsonian Institution. It does, however, lack provisions for any type of school or university. The legislation passes the House that same day, and on 10 August 1846 it passes the Senate and is signed into law by President James K. Polk.


  • Hough, William Jervis 1795-1869
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Polk, James K (James Knox) 1795-1849
  • Tappan, Benjamin
  • United States President
  • United States Congress


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • In Bolton the page number refers to the reprint edition of the article.
  • Bolton, Henry Carrington. "The Smithsonian Institution. Its Origin, Growth, and Activities." Appleton's Popular Science Monthly, January, 1896, p. 9.

Contact information

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


April 29, 1846


  • Law
  • Policies
  • SI, Early History
  • National University
  • Legislation

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