Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1854

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  • Present: John W. Maury, James A. Pearce, Stephen A. Douglas, James M. Mason, William H. English, David Stuart, James C. Meacham, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph G. Totten, Rufus Choate, and Gideon Hawley. Also present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Roger B. Taney, Richard Rush, and John M. Berrien.
  • Mr. Pearce, Chairman of the Special Committee relative to the distribution of the income of the Smithsonian fund made a report. The report, reproduced in the minutes, recommended that the compromise of 1847 dividing the Smithsonian income between "active operations" and the construction of the Library and Museum be abolished and that annual appropriations should be handled yearly on the basis of importance. It includes a review of the purpose of the Smithsonian Institution, how the regents have executed this purpose up to the present, and presents to the board a resolution to repeal the equal division of income between the active operations and the museum and library. The board laid the report on the table for further consideration and distributed the report to the board for their examination. The board then adjourned, to meet on Saturday, the 8th of July, at 10:00 am.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Jewett, Charles C (Charles Coffin) 1816-1868
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Stuart, David
  • English, William Hayden
  • Mason, James Murray
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold
  • Maury, John Walker
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Meacham, James C
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Berrien, John McPherson, 1781-1856
  • Board of Regents
  • Smithsonian Library
  • Smithsonian Museum
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution


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
  • May 20, 1854


  • Trusts and trustees
  • Controversies
  • Finance
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • History
  • National Collections
  • Libraries and museums
  • Libraries--History
  • Research


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 12; Page Numbers: 101-112

Full Record

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