Death of James Smithson

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James Smithson dies in Genoa, Italy. He is buried in the Protestant cemetery, about a mile west of Genoa, on a high elevation overlooking the town of Sampierdarena.


Smithson, James 1765-1829


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Goode and Rhees give this date. Oehser says he died on June 26 (p. 15). An article in the 1879 Annual Report, dated Oct. 1829, and quoting from "Gentleman's Magazine," (p. 193) describes his death as taking place in the south of France. Adjoining p. 11 of the Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, vol. XXI, is an engraving of the monument on Smithson's grave, done from a photograph taken in 1880.
  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897., p. 22-23, 833
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1879, p. 193
  • Oehser, Paul H. The Smithsonian Institution. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, p. 15
  • 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. 13
  • Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, volume 21, p. p. 11

Contact information

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


June 27, 1829


  • Sampierdarena, Italy
  • Deaths
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History


Genoa (Italy)

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