Owen Amends H.R. 5 to Create Smithsonian

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Mr. Robert Dale Owen, Representative from Indiana, reports a substitute for bill H. 5, which is referred to the Committee of the Whole. Additional provisions in this version include the establishment of a normal school branch of the institution with a professor of common-school instruction to improve quality of the common-school system, and for publications for the dissemination of information among the people, especially in agriculture, common-school instruction, and other useful knowledge.


  • Owen, Robert Dale 1801-1877
  • United States Congress


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • In advocating this bill, Mr. Owen made a very able and impressive speech, and one of the most memorable occurring in the discussion of the subject of the disposition of the bequest.
  • Rhees, William Jones. The Smithsonian Institution: Documents Relative to Its Origin and History: 1835-1899, Vol. 1, 1835-1887. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901, p. 322-331.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1879. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1880, p. 182.

Contact information

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


February 28, 1846


  • Smithson Bequest
  • Education
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men
  • Congressional Debates
  • Agriculture
  • Museums
  • Museum publications

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