House of Representatives, Rep. No. 181, Report from the Select Committee on the Message of the President, accompanying bill H.R. 187

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John Quincy Adams from the Committee on the President's Message (informing Congress of the Smithson Bequest) reported that the committee believes that Congress alone is capable of accepting the bequest and fulfilling the duties of the trust, and not only are the competent to do so, they have an obligation to both accept the bequest and fulfil Smithson's requirements. The committee recommended that Congress's first step be to obtain possession of the fund by authorizing the President to send an agent to England for that purpose. The report includes copies of Andrew Jackson's letter informing Congress of the bequest, Smithson's will, and communication between US Secretary of State John Forsyth and England's Secretary of State A. Vail.


  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Jackson, Andrew 1767-1845
  • Forsyth, John 1780-1841
  • Vail, A
  • Adams, John Quincy 1767-1848
  • United States Congress
  • United States President


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • HR. Rep. No. 24-181 at 1, 1836
  • Title 20, Education
  • Report - Congressional


See H.R. 187

Contained within

United States Congressional Serial Set (Book)

Contact information

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


  • 1977
  • 01/19/1836


  • Trusts and trustees
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Law
  • Equity pleading and procedure
  • Letters
  • Wills


Great Britain


Report - Congressional

Physical description

Number of pages: 8; Page Numbers: 1-8

Full Record

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