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"James Smithson" Smithsonian Castle Tip by bugalugs

Smithsonian Castle, Washington D.C.: 54 reviews and 95 photos

  James Smithsons Vault
by bugalugs

The Smithsonian Institute came about through a British man called James Smithson who was born in 1765. He was illegitimate and his father was a Duke.

I dont think he had mich time for the British Monarchy and support the US's democracy, although he had never actually been to America.

In his will he left all his money (as he had no heirs) stating it was to be used to fund an educational institution in DC and named after him. However, Congress were not too impressed at first and it took until 1846 for Congress to accept the legacy. In fact a special agent was sent to England to collect the money which he carried back in gold sovereigns.

James Smithson died in Genoa, Italy in 1829 where he had been living and was buried there.

In 1904 Alexander Graham Bell brought James Smithsons remains to DC and his tomb is inside the entrance to the Castle.

Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive
Directions: Metro Stop: Smithsonian Station.(Mall Exit)
Phone: (202) 357-2700

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 4, 2003
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