A Bill to provide for the disposal and management of the Smithson fund

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Establishes board of trustees. No part of the fund shall be applied to a school of any kind. Appropriations by Congress shall be made only from interest on the fund. Establishes an astronomical observatory, which shall be under the direction of the board of trustees. All expenditures made by the board are subject to the approval of the President. There shall be a board of visitors consisting of nine members who will visit annually and inspect the observatory and the Smithsonian Institution and make a report to the President of the United States. The bill appropriates money for the salary of an astronomer assistants, laborers and other staff, for the purchase of astronomical instruments and library books, and for publications on the sciences.


  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • United States Congress
  • Board of Regents


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • H. R. 386
  • Title 20, Education
  • Bill


for other bills relating to the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution see S. 18, S. 245, S. 293, S. 292, H. R. 5, H.R. 863, H.R. 259, H.R. 418, H.R. 1, H.R. 1160, H.R. 1161

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




  • Trusts and trustees
  • Observatories
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • SI, Early History
  • Museums
  • Libraries
  • Expenditures, Public
  • Management
  • Astronomy
  • Management--Museums
  • Museum visitors



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Number of pages: 9; Page Numbers: 1-9

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