Smithsonian Increases Endowment through Receipt of Residual Smithson Legacy

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Summary

The United States Congress passes an act requiring that James Smithson's residual legacy of $26,210.63 be added to the Smithson bequest in the United States Treasury. This includes both a residual bequest and the amount remaining of interest earned on the Smithson bequest prior to 1846. The act also allows the Board of Regents to increase the Smithson bequest through savings, donations, and other sources, to a sum not exceeding one million dollars. Within less than two years of the end of the Civil War, first Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry has increased the Institution's endowment from $515,000 to $650,000.

Subject

  • Smithson, James 1765-1829
  • Board of Regents
  • United States Dept. of the Treasury
  • United States Congress

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • George Brown Goode, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century (Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897), 837.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1866 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1867), 13.
  • William Jones Rhees, The Smithsonian Institution: Documents Relative to Its Origin and History: 1835-1899, Vol. 1, 1835-1887 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901), 119-120, 666.
  • Marc Rothenberg, et al, eds. The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 10, January 1858-December 1865: The Smithsonian Years, (Washington, D.C.: Science History Publications, 2004), 378.

Contact information

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

Date

February 8, 1867

Topic

  • Smithson Bequest
  • Law
  • Finance
  • Gifts
  • Management
  • Legislation

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