House Of Representatives Doc. No. 256, Report of the Secretary of State and accompanying documents

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The report from the Secretary of State includes a summary of the events relating to the Smithson Bequest since the time of Smithson's death provided by Richard Rush. It includes and letter to Richard Rush stating the opinion of English counsel Thomas Pemberton and Edward Jacob that possession of the fund could not be obtained without suit and that the best way to obtain possession would be to file an amicable suit against the executors of Smithson. They also advised that since Smithson was illegitimate, the Attorney General be made party to the suit to answer any questions about limitations of illegitimate children in the United States. There is a letter from Rush to Secretary of State Forsyth relying this information. Also included are further correspondence between Rush and Forsyth discussing the status of the case.


  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Forsyth, John 1780-1841
  • Jacob, Edward
  • Thomas, Pemberton
  • United States Congress
  • United States President


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • HR Doc. No. 25-256
  • Title 20, Education
  • Report - Congressional

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
  • 03/19/1838


  • Trusts and trustees
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Equity pleading and procedure
  • Letters
  • Actions and defenses
  • Wills
  • Inheritance and succession


Report - Congressional

Physical description

Number of pages: 28; Page Numbers: 7-34

Full Record

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