Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1855

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  • Present: Roger B. Taney, John T. Towers, James A. Pearce, David Stuart, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph G. Totten. Also present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were Stephen A. Douglas, James M. Mason, James Meacham, William H. English, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and John M. Berrien.
  • A letter was read from the House of Representatives stating that the Special Committee of the House of Representatives was ready to meet in order to investigate the resigning of Rufus Choate from the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and whether the Institution was being administered according to law. The Special Committee met Thursday, February first, at 7:30 pm in the rooms of W.H. Whitte at the National Hotel. On the motion of Mr. Meacham it was resolved that that a committee of five be appointed to represent the Board of Regents before the Special Committee. On the Motion of Mr. Pearce it was resolved that the Chancellor will appoint the committee. The Chancellor appointed James A. Pearce, James M. Mason, Alexander Dallas Bache, Richard Rush, and Joseph Henry.
  • The Secretary presented his annual report. Communications and a bill of charge from Lorin Blodget were read and, on the motion of Mr. Stuart, referred to the Executive Committee. Communications from the G. Cameron, the contractor for the building, was read and referred to the Building Committee. Communications from J.M. Stanley, artist, offering to dispose of his Indian Gallery was read and declined. A communication relative to the Geographical and Commercial Gazette was read and referred to the Executive Committee. The board adjourned to meet on Saturday, February 10, at 10:00 am.


  • Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Towers, John Thomas 1811-1857
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • Stuart, David
  • Blodget, Lorin 1823-1901
  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Cameron, Gilbert
  • Stanley, John Mix 1814-1872
  • English, William Hayden
  • Mason, James Murray
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Berrien, John McPherson, 1781-1856
  • Meacham, James C
  • Board of Regents
  • Special Committee of the House of Representatives, 33rd Congress, 2nd Session
  • United States Congress House
  • 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
  • January 27, 1855


  • Law
  • Controversies
  • Interpretation and construction
  • Letters
  • Secretaries
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Congressional Debates
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Management
  • Resignations
  • Law--Interpretation and construction
  • Legislation
  • Libraries and museums


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 2; Page Numbers: 118-119

Full Record

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