Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 614

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flowers, and shrubbery. In the enclosure oppo-
site the eastern front has been placed Greenough's
colossal statue of Washington, in a sitting posture,
twice as large as life.

The President's House, one mile W. of the
Capitol, is a very beautiful building, also of free
stone, 170 feet long and 86 feet deep, ornamented
on its N. front, facing Lafayette Square, with a
portico of 4 Ionic columns. The garden front
on the S. has a circular colonnade of 6 Ionie
columns. Not far from the President's House are
the offices of the executive departments. These
are plain edifices of brick, 130 feet long by 60
wide, except the treasury building, which is of
freestone, 336 feet long, with a wing in the rear
190 feet deep, and with a colonnade in front of
32 massive pillars. It contains 150 apartments.
The Gen'eral Land Office occupies the third

The General Post Office, on E. Street West,
running from Seventh to Eighth Streets N., is
an extensive marble building, with two wings,
adorned in front and at the ends with fluted

The Patent Office, between Seventh and Ninth
Streets W., and F and G Streets N., built of
freestone and marble, 270 feet long, and in the
centre 170 feet deep, is the handsomest of all the
public offices. The portico, copied from the
Parthenon at Athens, consists of 16 columns,
50 feet high, in a double row. This edifice is
partly occupied as a National Museum, and as a
receptacle for models of new inventions. There
are two wings of marble now in course of

The Smithsonian Institute, on a 19 acre plot
of ground, granted by the government, in the
southern part of the city, between Seventh and
Twelfth Streets, is built of reddish sandstone, in
the ancient style of Norman architecture, and is
447 feet in length, with a width where broadest
of 132 feet. It has 10 towers, one of which is
145 feet high, and the others 100 feet, and makes
an imposing appearance.

The central portion of the building contains,
on the first floor, a library, 134 feet by 50, di-
vided into alcoves, and a hall for philosophical
apparatus, 65 feet by 50. The second story con-
tains the Museum, 200 feet by 50. This is divided
into 3 aisles, the centre aisle being 40 feet in

The E. wing contains a lecture room, capable
of accommodating 1000 persons. The eastern
range contains laboratories, workshops, rooms
for apparatus, offices, &c.

The western wing and range contains two large
rooms, one of which will be used as a reading
room. Beneath are rooms for unpacking books,
and other purposes of the library.

The Smithsonian Institution derives its name
and endowment from James Smithson, Esq., of

Mr. Smithson was a son of the first Duke of
Northumberland. He was educated at Oxford,
where he distinguished himself by his scientific
attainments. He was an associate of most of the
eminent men of science of the last generation in
England. He had no fixed residence, and formed
no family ties. He died at Genoa, June 27,

From the property which he received by his
mother, and the ample annuity allowed him by
his father, his frugality enabled him to accumulate
a fortune, which, at the time of his death, amount-
ed to about
£120,000 sterling.

By his will, he directed that the income of this
property should be paid to a nephewr during his
life, and that the property itself should descend
to his children, if he had any, absolutely and

In case of the death of my said nephew with-
out leaving a child, or children, or of the death of
the child or children he may have had under the
age of 21 years, or intestate, I then bequeath the
whole of my property
to the United States of
America., to found at Washington
, under the name
of the Smithsonian Institution
, an establishment for
the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men

Such are the words of the will, and the only
words of Smithson which have come to us re-
lating to this remarkable bequest.

Of the reasons which led him to make this
disposal of his fortune, we know nothing except
by inference. He was never in America, had no
friends or acquaintances here, and is supposed to
have had no particular fondness for republican

The event having occurred, in which the claim
of the United States attached, the particulars of
the bequest were communicated to our govern-
ment, and both Houses of Congress passed a bill,
which was approved the 1st of July, 1836, author
izing the president to appoint an agent to pros-
ecute, in the Court of Chancery of England, the
right of the United States to the bequest, and
pledging the faith of the United States to the
application of the fund to the purposes designated
by the donor.

It was paid into the treasury of the United
States, in sovereigns, during the month of Sep-
tember, 1838.

The amount of the fund at this time was
$515,169. It was not till 8 years after this period,
10t.h August, 1846, that the act establishing the
Smithsonian Institution was finally passed.

This act creates an establishment, to be called
the Smithsonian Institution, composed of the
president and vice president of the United States,
the secretaries of state, of the treasury, of war,
and the navy, the postmaster general, attorney
general, and mayor of Washington, with such
others as they may elect honorary members. It
devolves the immediate government of the Insti-
tution upon a board of regents, of 15 members;
namely, the vice president of the United States,
the chief justice of the Supreme Court, and the
mayor of the city of Washington,
ex officio, 3
members of the Senate, to be appointed by the
president thereof, 3 members of the House, to be
appointed by the speaker, and 6 persons to be
chosen from the citizens at large, by joint resolu-
tion of the Senate and House, 2 of whom shall
be members of the National Institute, and the
other 4 inhabitants of states, and no two from
the same state.

The act establishes a permanent loan of the
original fund ($515,169) to the United States, at
6 per cent, interest; appropriates the accumulated
interest, then amounting to $242,129, or so much
as might be needed, together with so much of the
accruing income as might be unexpended in any
year, for the erection of a building : provides for
the establishment of a library, museum, chemical
laboratory, &c., and left most of the details of the
organization to the board of regents.

The cost of the building is limited (with furni-

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