“The Smithsonian Institution is a “trust instrumentality” of the United States – an organization established by the U.S. government as a public trust. Created by the US Congress on August 10, 1846, through 9 Stat. 102, the Institution carries out the bequest of James Smithson (1765-1829) to create an establishment “for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.” Since 1846, public laws, judicial decisions, court cases, procedures of the Board of Regents, executive orders, and government reports have shaped the Institution’s legal structure” (https://siarchives.si.edu/history/legal-history). The authority and responsibilities of the United States are delegated to the Smithsonian Board of Regents (https://www.si.edu/ogc/legalhistory).
Robert J. Koestler