Act of Congress establishes the Smithsonian Institution

Title

Act of Congress establishes the Smithsonian Institution

Description

James Smithson, an English scientist, specified in his will that if his nephew, Henry J. Hungerford, died without heirs, his estate should be given to the United States to found an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Smithson died in 1829 and his nephew died in 1835, without heirs, leaving $508,318 to the people of the United States. In August 1846, President James K. Polk signed an act creating the Smithsonian Institution, to be established in Washington, DC, either in a building of its own or in a wing of the Patent Building.

Source

Smithsonian Libraries. View original.

Date

08/10/1846

Coverage

Event Sort Date

18460810

Description

James Smithson, an English scientist, specified in his will that if his nephew, Henry J. Hungerford, died without heirs, his estate should be given to the United States to found an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Smithson died in 1829 and his nephew died in 1835, without heirs, leaving $508,318 to the people of the United States. In August 1846, President James K. Polk signed an act creating the Smithsonian Institution, to be established in Washington, DC, either in a building of its own or in a wing of the Patent Building.

Date

08/10/1846

Coverage

1830-1859

Source

Smithsonian Libraries. View original.