First Bill to Establish Smithsonian (Preston)

[S. 259.]


A bill to invest the proceeds of the Smithsonian fund, and to establish the Smithsonian Institution.

Be it enacted, etc., That the Smithsonian Institution shall consist of one superintendent, with a compensation of __________ dollars per annum, and not exceeding six professors, with compensation to each of _________ dollars per annum, with such number of curators and assistants as may be found necessary: Provided, The number of, and the compensation to, the curators and assistants shall be approved by the President of the United States; all these officers to be elected by the board of management of the National Institution for the Promotion of Science, established at Washington, and according to the form and manner prescribed for the electing of officers of that institution; but the election of professors shall not be made until the buildings are prepared for them to enter upon their duties.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the officers of the National Institution for the Promotion of Science, together with the superintendent of the Smithsonian Institution, shall constitute a board of management of the interest of the Smithsonian fund; and shall have power to plan and erect the necessary buildings, to lay out the grounds, to preserve and repair the same, to procure the necessary books and philosophical instruments, to arrange the collections, to prescribe the duties of the professors and others belonging to the said Smithsonian Institution, and to establish regulations for the preservation of the property, and for a proper exhibition of the same: Provided, however, That no regulation shall exact a fee from any visitor: And provided, That nothing in this act shall be so construed as to prevent any member of the National Institution for the Promotion of Science from being an officer of the Smithsonian Institution.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said board of management shall have power to appoint a treasurer and secretary, who shall be entitled to a compensation of ______ dollars per annum, who shall give bond, in the penal sum of ________ dollars, for the faithful performance of his duties, which duties shall be prescribed by said board; but he shall render the accounts of his expenditures quarterly to the accounting officers of the Treasury Department; and the said board shall report its proceedings in detail annually to Congress, or oftener, if required.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all works of art, and all books relating thereto, and all collections and curiosities belonging to the United States, in the possession of any of the executive departments, and not necessarily connected with the duties thereof, shall he transferred to said institution, to be there preserved and arranged.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the interest which has accrued on the Smithsonian fund be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this act; and that the ground owned by the United States, and designated in the plan of the city of Washington as the Mall, be, and the same is hereby, appropriated for the buildings and use of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Institution; and the same shall be under the superintendence of the board of management of the National Institution.

E-text by Courtney Danforth