Washington Relics Transferred to USNM

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.


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

Full Record

View Full Record