Provision to Appoint Acting Secretary

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United States Congress authorizes the Chancellor of the Smithsonian to appoint an acting Secretary in case of death, resignation, sickness, or absence of the Secretary. The acting Secretary will hold the position until the election of a new Secretary, or the current Secretary is capable of returning to his duties. On May 13, 1884, Congress will enact a similar provision to cover any periods when Secretary Spencer F. Baird is absent from his duties.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Chancellor of the Smithsonian Board of Regents
  • United States Congress


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. 839
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1879, p. 115
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1885, p. xii
  • 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. 810, 952

Contact information

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


January 24, 1879


  • Law
  • Policies
  • Secretaries
  • Acting Secretaries
  • Legislation

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