Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1854

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


  • Present: John T. Towers, James A. Pearce, Stephen A. Douglas, James M. Mason, William H. English, David Stuart, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph G. Totten, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush. Also present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Roger B. Taney, James Meacham, Rufus Choate, and John M. Berrien.
  • John T. Towers, mayor elect of the city of Washington, appeared and took the seat in the board vacated by Mr. Maury, the late mayor. The Secretary laid before the board the sixth volume of Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge.
  • Mr. Mason offered a resolution to give the Secretary the power to employ assistants "the better to enable him to discharge those duties" and also the "power to remove his said assistants". Mr. English offers an amendment that the Secretary needs the consent of the Board of Regents to remove his assistants. The ammendment was not carried by a vote of four to five; however, the resolution was carried by a vote of six to four.
  • Mr. English moved that the board adjourn. This motion was withdrawn to allow the chairman of the Executive Committee, Mr. Pearce, to bring forward the appropriations for the year recommended by the committee, and reported to the board April 29, 1854. On motion, the appropriations, as reported by the Executive Committee, were adopted - ayes 7, noes 3.
  • The Secretary has employed Lorin Blodgett to reduce and discuss the meteorological observations collected by the Smithsonian Institution, and that a misunderstanding had arisen as to the adjustment of his claims in reference to the work and the matter is referred to the Executive Committee.


  • Blodget, Lorin 1823-1901
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Stuart, David
  • English, William Hayden
  • Mason, James Murray
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Towers, John Thomas 1811-1857
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Berrien, John McPherson, 1781-1856
  • Meacham, James C
  • Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents Executive Committee
  • 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
  • July 8, 1854


  • Controversies
  • Personnel management
  • Research


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 3; Page Numbers: 112-114

Full Record

View Full Record