Page Links

Narrow Your Results

Filter Your Results

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.

Death of James Smithson

Death of James Smithson
Smithson, James
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
June 27, 1829
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
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.
Deaths, Major Events in Smithsonian History, Sampierdarena, Italy
Smithson, James 1765-1829
Chronology of Smithsonian History
Genoa (Italy)
Full Record:!sichronology&uri=full=3100001~!672~!0#focus

Using the Archives' Collections

The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. Please cite the Smithsonian Institution Archives as the source of the content, and when possible, link to the Smithsonian Archives website ( Please let us know how you are using our collections for your projects. If you would like to see a collection in person, please note that most records and special collections are stored off-site, so researchers should contact the Reference Team at least one week prior to visiting to ensure that records can be made available in the Archives Reading Room. For information on commercial licensing or other uses, visit Rights and Reproductions. More information available within the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use policy.

Note: In order to access PDFs, you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader software which is available free of charge.