Procession to SI with James Smithson's Remains, by Springer, E. L, 1904, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, On January 25, 1904, a military procession to Smithsonian Institution grounds brings the remains of James Smithson (c.1765-1829) whose bequest created the Smithsonian. His remains had been transported by Alexander Graham Bell, a member of the Board of Regents, from Genoa, Italy, after the Italian cemetery had fallen into neglect..