Smithsonian Institution, Board of Regents, Minutes, 1855

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  • Present: Roger B. Taney, Stephen A. Douglas, James A. Pearce, William H. English, Alexander Dallas Bache, Joseph G. Totten. Also present: Joseph Henry. The members not present were John T. Towers, James M. Mason, David Stuart, James Meacham, Gideon Hawley, Richard Rush, and John M. Berrien.
  • The minority report of the Special Committee on the distribution of income written by James Meacham was presented and laid on the table. The report discusses the distribution of income of the Institution and recommends that the Smithsonian Library receive the full funding granted it by Congress. On the motion of Mr. English a resolution was adopted to create a three person committee of finance to manage the investment of the funds of the Institution. The Chancellor appointed William H. English, James A. Pearce, and James M. Mason as the Finance Committee.
  • A report was read from the conference between the committees of The Establishment and the Board of Regents that they have agreed the Institution and the Board of Regents shall communicate through the Secretary who will regularly communicate all such acts, and any time special communication is necessary a conference will be called. This report was approved by the board. The report of the committee was approved. Mr. Douglas offered a resolution that any correspondence addressed to the Institution or any person employed by it and pertaining to affairs of the Institution would be received under the direction and attention of the Secretary of the Institution which was adopted by the board. The board adjourned to meet at the call of the Secretary.


  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Totten, Joseph Gilbert 1788-1864
  • Pearce, James Alfred
  • Douglas, Stephen Arnold
  • Bache, A. D (Alexander Dallas) 1806-1867
  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Taney, Roger Brooke 1777-1864
  • English, William Hayden
  • Seaton, William Winston 1785-1866
  • Stuart, David
  • Mason, James Murray
  • Towers, John Thomas 1811-1857
  • Hawley, Gideon 1785-1870
  • Berrien, John McPherson, 1781-1856
  • Meacham, James C
  • Board of Regents
  • Board of Regents Special Committee
  • United States Congress
  • Regents Smithsonian Institution
  • Board of Regents Committee on Finance and Investment


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

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

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
  • February 24, 1855


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


Board of Regents

Physical description

Number of pages: 1; Page Numbers: 120

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