Aug
29

Today in Smithsonian History: August 29, 1838

"The Mediator" oil painting attributed to D. MacFarlane. The painting is owned by the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va.

“The Mediator” oil painting attributed to D. MacFarlane. The painting is owned by the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va.

August 29, 1838 James Smithson’s legacy, in the form of British gold sovereigns packed in 11 boxes, as well as his personal effects, arrive with Richard Rush on the ship Mediator in the harbor of New York. The personal effects are deposited with the collector of the Port of New York on September 1. The gold is immediately deposited with the Bank of America, until September 1, when it is transferred to the Treasurer of the United States Mint in Philadelphia. The £104,960 and 8 shillings, 6 pence in gold sovereigns is melted down and reminted into United States coins worth $508,318.46. Smithson’s personal effects remain in New York until June 1841, when the National Institute requests they be sent to Washington.

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives


Posted: 29 August 2017
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