Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1854

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  • Present: John W. Maury, James A. Pearce, James M. Mason, William H. English, James C. Meacham, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph G. Totten. Also present: Secretary Joseph Henry. The members not present were Roger B. Taney, Stephen A. Douglas, David Stuart, Rufus Choate, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and John M. Berrien.
  • The report of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents on the finances of the Institution for the year 1853 was presented and accepted. A resolution was adopted that the Executive Committee and the Secretary of the Smithsonian are required to submit an estimate of the previous year's expenses at the beginning of each year to the Board of Regents so that appropriations for each operation could be made on the basis of said estimates. The Secretary stated to the board reported that a resolution had been submitted by Hon. Joseph R. Chandler in the House of Representatives to consider withdrawing the Smithsonian fund from the United States Treasury and investing it in stock elsewhere.
  • The Special Committee considering the payment to Gilbert Cameron had been delayed due to a lawsuit between Cameron and a sub-contractor. They reported that after examination "the balance due Gilbert Cameron should be paid to him, and direct accordingly". The Secretary stated that in accordance with this direction he had paid Mr. Cameron $10,000, but had reserved a part of the money until the account could be critically examined.
  • A memorial from the American Philosophical Society to the Congress of the United States, praying "that the President of the United States should be authorized to enter into such correspondence with the Government of Great Britain, as may secure, in a reasonable time, a proper uniformity of coinage, in the mode that may be most discreet and convenient" was laid before the board for approval. On the motion of Mr. Mason, the subject was referred to the Executive Committee.
  • A communication was read from Mr. J.R. Lambdin, President of the American Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, recommending that the Smithsonian Institution should procure molds from the collections of the British Museum and that they should be reproduced and sold at cost to academies of art, etc. On the motion of Mr. Mason, this subject was referred to the Executive Committee. The board then adjourned to meet at the call of the Secretary.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • English, William Hayden
  • Mason, James Murray
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Maury, John Walker
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Meacham, James C
  • Stuart, David
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Berrien, John McPherson, 1781-1856
  • Lambdin, James Reid 1807-1889
  • Cameron, Gilbert
  • Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • British Museum
  • American Philosophical Society
  • United States Dept. of the Treasury
  • American Academy of the Fine Arts


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • Regents Minutes
  • Title 20, Education
  • Board of Regents - Resolutions

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 1, Board of Regents Vol. 1 (Bound volume)

Contact information

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


  • 1879
  • March 11, 1854


  • Trusts and trustees
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Controversies
  • Finance
  • Secretaries
  • Expenditures, Public
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • History
  • National Collections
  • Libraries and museums
  • Libraries--History
  • Research


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 3; Page Numbers: 456-458

Full Record

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