Calhoun Opposes Smithson Bequest

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Summary

Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina announces to the United States Congress that he opposes the acceptance of the James Smithson bequest on the grounds that to do so would be unconstitutional and that it abridged states' rights. His reasoning sparks much controversy in the Senate, but does not prevail.

Subject

  • Calhoun, John C (John Caldwell) 1782-1850
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • United States Congress

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Wilson, Clyde N., ed. Papers of John C. Calhoun, vol. 14. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1993., p. 576-577
  • 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. 173-181

Contact information

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

Date

February 25, 1839

Topic

  • Political science
  • Policies
  • Debates
  • State rights
  • Smithson Bequest
  • Act to establish the "Smithsonian Institution," for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge Among Men

Full Record

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