Washington Relics Transferred to USNM

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The relics of George Washington and other distinguished persons are transferred from the Commissioner of Patents to the United States National Museum, along with the Colonel Lewis collection of Washington relics, purchased for $12,000 by Congressional appropriation, and never previously unpacked in Washington. Included in the Lewis collection are two portraits of George and Martha Washington, painted by John Trumbull, considered among the choicest treasures of American art. Also transferred is the Syrian sarcophagus acquired for Andrew Jackson internment (which he declined). The sarcophagus was placed on the ground of the new U.S. National Museum.


  • Trumbull, John 1756-1843
  • Washington, George 1732-1799
  • Washington, Martha 1731-1802
  • Jackson, Andrew 1767-1845
  • National Institute
  • National Institution for the Promotion of Science
  • Patent Office Building (POB)
  • United States National Museum
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • United States President (1829-1837 : Jackson)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1883. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1885, p. 42, 177.
  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897, p. 359-360, 839.

Contact information

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


May 19, 1883


  • Acquisitions
  • Art
  • Syrian Sarcophagus
  • Interagency Transfers
  • Museums
  • History
  • National Collections
  • Sarcophagus
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History
  • Art--History
  • Art objects
  • Museums--Acquisitions

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