Imatges de pàgina

tution, who are found in every part of the United States, and are not confined even within these limils. The author of the great work on the American Algæ, now publishing in the Smithsonian Contributions, is a resident member of Trinity College, Dublin ; and very few of the authors of the Smithsonian memoirs reside in Washington. The libraries, therefore, of the whole country, and in some cases of other countries, are at the service of the Institution and employed for its purposes.

"Similar remarks apply to the museum. It is not the intention of the Institution to attempt to examine and describe within the walls of its own building all the objects which may be referred to it. To accomplish this, a corps of naturalists, each learned in his own branch, would be required, at an expense which the whole income would be inadequate to meet. In the present state of knowledge, that profound attainment necessary to advance science can be made by an individual, however gifted, only in one or two narrow lines; and hence several members are required to complete a single class in any of the learned academies of Europe ; therefore the plan which was once proposed, of establishing on the Smithsonian fund an academy of associated members, was entirely incompatible with the limited income of the Institution. The more feasible and far less expensive organization was adopted, of referring, for investigation, all scientific questions of importance, as well as objects of natural history, to persons of reputation and learning in different parts of the United States, and perhaps, in some cases, in foreign countries. By the operation of this plan, which has been found eminently practicable, the collections, as well as the libraries of the whole country, are rendered subservient to the use of the Institution.

“There can be but little doubl that, in due time, ample provision will be made for a library and museum at the capital of this Union worthy of a government whose perpetuity depends upon the virtue and intelligence of the people. It is, therefore, unwise to hamper the more important objects of this Institution, by attempting to anticipate results which will be eventually produced without the expenditure of its means.

“ The prominent idea embraced in the Smithsonian organization is that of co-operation and concerted action with all institutions and individuals engaged in the promotion of knowledge. Its design is not to monopolize any part of the wide fields of nature or of art, but to invite all to partake in the pleasure and honor of their cultivation. It seeks not to encroach upon ground occupied by other institutions, but to expend the funds in doing that which cannot be as well done by other means. It gives to the words of Smithson their most liberal interpretation, and increases and diffuscs knowledge among men' by promoting the discovery of new truths, and by disseminating these in every part of the civilized world.”

To these remarks Mr. Jewett gave an answer before the Board, whereupon the Hon. Mr. Fitch moved that the whole subject be referred to a committee.

The report for 1852 was not published till afier the middle of 1853, and when I came to examine the manuscript, in order to see it through

the press, I found the offensive matter which I had refused to publish still retained in Mr. Jewett's part of the report.

I then sent for Mr. Jewett officially. He came, and in a very angry manner asked why I sent for him by a servant. He said he was a genileman, and would not be treated as a subordinate, or words to that effect. I replied that I had sent for him on official business. I must either go to him, or he come to me. I was his superior in age and position, and that no gentleman put himself in a subordinate position the amenities of which he did not intend to observe, or the duties of which he did not intend to discharge.

On this occasion he avowed to me that he came into the Institution to carry out certain plans, he was put here for that purpose; that if any attempt was made to annul the compromise, the Institution would be shaken to its centre. The impression made upon me was that he would shake the Institution to its centre.

I informed him that he came into the Institution as an assistant, and that he had no right to attempt to carry out any plans of his own; that if he attempted to control the Regents, or to act in accordance with the sentiments he had avowed, he would be removed from the Institution; that such men as Mason, Pearce, and others of the Board would not allow of such insubordination, and that I would remove him myself. He replied that I had not the power, and if I had, I would not dare to use it. To this I answered that I had the power, that I had consulted legal authority, and that I had sufficient moral courage to perform my duty.

After this I do not recollect having any further conversation with Mr. Jewelt on this subject, and indeed from that time until his removal most of our business transactions were conducted in writing.

About the time of the meeting of the Board in January, 1854, and of the commitlee before alluded to, a series of attacks were commenced in the newspapers, evidently intended to intimidate the Regents, and to affect the official character of the secretary.

These attacks were in perfect accordance with the avowed declarations of Mr. Jewett. They were written in most, if not all, cases by his most intimate friends, and there is no doubt in my mind that they were all instigated by himself. Some of them were reprinted in pamphlet form, and widely circulated by himself or his friends.

While the question was pending in the Board of Regents, the late Mr. Maury, as I was informed by himself, was called upon by an intimate friend of Mr. Jewett, and given to understand that unless he voted against the resolutions recommended by the committee he would lose his office as mayor in the approaching election.

Just before the election, two very offensive articles appeared, as paid communications, in the Star against Mr. Maury. (Read them :) To the Editors of the Washington Star:

Messrs. EDITORS: The city elections are close at hand, and if any discussion of the qualifications of the several candidates for office be desirable, it is quite time to begin the task. I am not aware of any peculiar cause, just at this time, for a very strict scrutiny of the claims and pretensions of the friends of the various persons who have been put in nomination for our city offices, with a single exception. The office of mayor of Washington is in itself a very important one, requiring qualifications of a high character in its incumbent. Into these, as possessed by the several individuals who have been proposed as candidates, I do not propose at present to inquire.

That office has, however, annexed to it another of a very different, although perhaps equally important trust. The mayor of Washington is, by law, ex officio, a regent of the Smithsonian Institution.

Now, everybody knows that Smithson's will required the Institution he proposed to found to be established " in Washington.” And everybody knows that upon this expression of his will was founded the only argument which sustains a power in Congress to accept the bequest. Everybody, who has cared to know anything about the matter, knows, too, that the objects prescribed by Congress, in the charter of the Institution, have been, if not set aside, treated with comparative neglect; and a plan of operations adopted, consisting mainly of schemes pro-, posed, maturely considered, and deliberately rejected by Congress; a plan, of which the operation has been to bring the Institution into contempt here, and general indifference elsewhere; a plan which renders the establishment of the Institution in Washington of as little useful importance to Washington as to Utah or Nebraska.

Now, sir, I wish to know on what side is Mr. Maury in this business; and I ask the question, not for myself alone, but in behalf of not a few who think we have a right to know whether the candidate we vote for or against is on the side of the law, and a consulter of the rightful interests of the city of Washington, or a dupe and follower of the clique which has gotten possession of, and perverted the government of, an establishment intended for, and capable of serving for, better purposes than their profit and aggrandizement, or the extension and confirmation of their power and influence.

If he be as I have heard charged against him, that he is a friend and abettor of the system of illegal mismanagement under which the Institution has been brought, I intend to give my vote for some other candidate for the mayoralty, whatever may be bis claims and qualifications in other respects. I have entertained 100 high hopes of the great general benefits to proceed from the Institution, and of the advantage and improvement its establishment among us gave every one right to expect, to look on contentedly to see it, what it is in fact becoming, an inscrutable abstraction, without giving the aid of even my feeble effort 10 hinder, if I cannot arrest, so miserable a disappointment.



“To FOUND AT WASHINGTON.”-Smithson gave his money to the United States to found at Washington an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”

If these words, “at Washington,” had not been used in the bequest, the gift could not have been accepted. Congress has no power, under the Constitution, to accept a trust for the benefit of all mankind. It was only as parens patria, the guardian and local legislature of the District of Columbia, that Congress had and exercised the right to accept the bequest of Smithson. This may be abundantly shown from the documents to have been the sense of Congress itself.

In the Senate, the President's message, transmitting papers relative to the bequest was referred to the Judiciary Committee. That committee, by their chairman, Mr. Leigh, reported a joint resolution, January 6, 1836. In their report they say :-(See Rep. 42, 24th Congress, 1st session, p. 4:)

" The committee can see no reason to doubt that the United States must be regarded as the parens patriæ of the District of Columbia ; that, in that character, they have a right, and are in duty bound, to assert a claim to any property given to them for the purpose of founding a charitable institution of any kind within the District, and to provide for the due application and administration of such a fund,” &c.

In the House of Representatives, the message was referred to a special committee, who, by their chairman, Mr. J. Q. Adams, reported a bill to accept the bequest, January 19, 1836. In their report they say :-(See Rep. H. R., No. 181, 24th Congress, 1st session, p. 3:)

“ The location of the Institution at Washington, prescribed by the testator, gives to Congress the free exercise of all the powers relating to the subject with which they are by the Constitution invested, as the local legislature for the District of Columbia.”

Mr. Leigh said, in explaining and defending his report: “They (the committee) looked upon the bequest as having been made simply for the benefit of one of the cities of the District of Columbia, of which Congress is the constitutional guardian.”

Mr. Clayton said : “ The United States was merely named in the will as the trustee, and was to receive no benefit whatever It was merely a charitable object, lo establish a university in the District of Columbia."

Mr. Southard said: “Congress had the same right to establish this university as they had to charter a college in Georgetown or Alexandria.”

Mr. Buchanan said: “Congress, by receiving and applying this bequest, would only act as the trustees of the city of Washington, for whose benefit it was made.”

Mr. Walker said: “He should vote for the bill on the ground that Congress would be doing manifest injustice to the city of Washington by refusing to accept the donation.”

Be it observed, also, that in the whole debate on the aceeptance of this bequest, no senator took ground in opposition to that of the above extracts, except Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Preston. They held that the testator intended this Institution for the benefit of all mankind; and they, therefore, voted against accepting the bequest.

The citizens of Washington memorialized Congress with reference to the application of this fund. Colonel Force and Colonel Seaton, as mayors of the city, exerted themselves strenuously to procure the founding of the Institution. The citizens have acted liberally, have never wished for the exclusive benefit of it, but have ever been willing and desirous that “the scattered millions of the land” should share with them. Let them not be schooled into silence and submission by an incessant imputation of consulting “local interests,” implying "perversion of the trusi.” They have a peculiar interest, and a legal right to insist that the original design of the Institution shall be carried out.

It is well known that a plan of operations has been adopted inconsistent with, and subversive of, the principal objects provided for by the act of incorporation ; a plan entirely different from the original and lawful design ; a plan which gives all or most of the funds to be ex: pended in distant researches, and in publishing books printed and distributed elsewhere, and which leaves this city nothing but an empty name of benefit.

It is understood that the present mayor, who, by virtue of his office, is a member of the Board of Regents, has, in the struggle which is sup. posed to have occurred in the Board upon the adoption of this plan, given to it his whole aid and support. He who ought to have regarded himself in an especial manner bound to respect and defend the rights and interests of the city, has permitted himself to be duped and cajoled into the support of an illegal and unwise scheme, under the operation vi which, as far as any benefit to Washington is concerned, the Institution might as well have been established in Princeton, New Jersey, as in Washington, D. C. Let this be thought of on Monday.


These were inserted and paid for, as I was informed by one of the editors, by one of the enployés of the Institution in the stereotyping operations under the immediate direction of Mr. Jeweti.

During the whole of this time his duties in the library were neglected and his whole time was apparently taken up in this controversy.

He was called upon by Committee of the Board of Regents to present his views on the future distribution of the income, and in answer to this call, instead of confining himself to the question propounded, embraced the opportunity to assail the secretary under his own name, and to repeat many of the statements which had appeared anonymously in the public papers.

On this I resolved to remove him, but as there was a doubt in the minds of some members of the Board whether the secretary had the power, a resolution was introduced by Mr. Mason, intended to express the opinion of the Board as to this point. The removal was made in accordance with this resolution and the recommendation of the committee, to which Mr. Jewett's communication was addressed. The act of removal was a painful one to me, but I considered it absolutely necessary, in order to vindicate the power of the office of the secretary, and to produce that harmony in the management of the Institution with out which no operations could be efficiently carried on. I rested for the time the removal on the character of that paper and the report of the committee in reference to it, because I did not wish to inflict more injury on Mr. Jewett than was absolutely necessary. If, however, the committee should deem it necessary to require additional reasons for the removal of Mr. Jewett, I am prepared to present them.

From the foregoing, however, it is evident that he put hiinself in direct opposition to me, and that it was incompatible with the interests of

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