Richard Rush Named U.S. Agent for Bequest

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Richard Rush, a lawyer and diplomat from Pennsylvania, is appointed the agent of the United States to assert and prosecute the claim to the James Smithson legacy in the English Court of Chancery. Prior to leaving the U.S., Rush is required to deposit a $500,000. security bond in the Treasury of the United States to ensure faithful remittance of all money received in payment of the legacy. His annual salary is fixed at $3,000., plus $2,000. for contingencies, not including legal expenses. He previously held positions including Comptroller and Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, Attorney General, and Minister to England and France.


  • Rush, Richard 1780-1859
  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Great Britain Court of Chancery
  • United States Dept. of the Treasury


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897., p. 28-29, 833
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1879, p. 169
  • 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. 9-10

Contact information

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


July 11, 1836


  • Smithson Bequest
  • Actions and defenses

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