House of Representatives Proceedings, 04/28/1846

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The House resumes consideration of the bill to establish the Smithsonian Institution, however debate turns to the Smithsonian fund rather than the establishment of the Institution. Mr. Sims objects that the purpose of Smithson's bequest is to ensure that his name would live on. Sims also makes the objection that it is not within the power of Congress to administer charities. Sims states that he would introduce a bill to send the money back to England. Mr. Adams suggests Congress deal with the problem of retrieving the fund from the state of Arkansas before further discussion on the establishment of the Smithsonian so that they would not make appropriation for the Institution with Treasury funds. Mr. Ficklin opposes the bill because it recognizes by law that the Smithson fund is placed in the Treasury, an action he believes to be objectionable.


  • Adams, John Quincy 1767-1848
  • Sims, Leonard H
  • Johnson, Andrew 1808-1875
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Ficklin, Orlando B
  • United States Congress


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • Title 20, Education
  • Congressional record

Contained within

The Congressional Globe, New Series (Book)

Contact information

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


  • 1846
  • 04/28/1846


  • Smithson Bequest
  • Trusts and trustees
  • Loans
  • Debates and Debating
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • SI, Early History
  • Federal funds


Congressional Record

Physical description

Number of pages: 5; Page Numbers: 737-741

Full Record

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