House of Representatives Proceedings, 04/23/1846

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  • Consideration of the Smithsonian bill resumes from the previous day. Mr. Marsh expresses his desire for action on the subject and says he would vote for the bill with the hope that it would be modified. Mr. Morse argues that if it had been the intention of Smithson to found a library or a university he would have said so. Morse interprets his lack of specification as a desire for the increase and diffusion of practical and useful knowledge. Morse submits a substitute which proposes to fulfill Smithson's requirements by offering prizes for essays on practical and useful subjects and that the Institution should ensure that these essays are published and widely distributed.
  • Mr. Owen disputes some of Morse's remarks on the intentions of Smithson. Mr. Chipman speaks in opposition to the bill because it constituted the establishment of a corporation. Mr. Adams offers an amendment that no action should be taken by Congress in establishing the Institution until the interest due to the Treasury by the states of Arkansas, Illinois and Michigan is paid. Consideration of the Amendment is postponed until the next Monday.


  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • Adams, John Quincy 1767-1848
  • Morse, Isaac E
  • Marsh, George Perkins 1801-1882
  • Chipman, John S
  • United States Congress
  • United States Dept. of the Treasury


Smithsonian Legal Documents

Legal document information

  • Title 20, Education
  • Congressional Report


for 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, especially versions of H.R. and S. 18

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
  • 04/23/1846


  • Smithson Bequest
  • Trusts and trustees
  • Printing
  • Corporations
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Libraries
  • College teachers
  • Schools
  • Essays


Congressional Report

Physical description

Number of pages: 3; Page Numbers: 718-720

Full Record

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