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And the Search for a Proper Memorial

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Introduction

James Smithson's Will

The Italian Grave Site

The Exhumation and Journey to America

The Search for a Proper Memorial

Smithson's Crypt

Symbolism of the Grave Marker

Exhibits

Publications

Web Resources

Contact Us

The Inscription on Smithson's Monument


Smithson's Crypt in the Smithsonian Building, 2003

The inscription on the front of the tomb reads:

“Sacred to the memory of James Smithson Esquire, Fellow of the Royal Society, London, who died at Genoa the 26th June 1829, aged 75 years*.”

The inscription on the back of the tomb reads:

“This monument is erected and the ground on which it stands is purchased in perpetuity by Henry Hungerford. Esq.**, the deceased’s nephew, in token of gratitude to a generous benefactor and as a tribute to departed worth”



* At the time of his death, Smithson was 64.

** Also known as Henry James Dickenson, Smithson's nephew took the family name "Hungerford" at his uncle's request.