SMITHSONIAN BEQUEST.-- The correspondent of the New-York Journal of Commerce gives the following outline of Mr. Adams' plan for disposing of the Smithsonian Legacy:
Mr. Adams has introduced a bill providing for the disposal and management of the Smithsonian Bequest. The fund amounted, in September 1838, to 508,318 dollars 46 cents. But, I believe, there is something further expected from the proceeds of the estates.
Mr. Adams proposes to appoint trustees, who shall form a body, politic and corporate, by the title of the "Smithsonian Institute for the Increase and Diffusion of Knowledge among men." The trustees are to consist of the Vice President of the U.S., the Chief Justice of the U.S., of the Secretaries of State, Treasury, War, and Navy; the Attorney General of the U.S., and the Mayor of the City of Washington, together with four members of the House of Representatives, and three of the Senate, to be annually elected by their respective Houses. He proposes that the fund shall be placed in the Treasury of the United States and the faith of the U.S. pledged for its preservation, undiminished and unimpaired, with six per cent interest, which shall be paid annually and applied to the purposes of the fund; that no part of the fund shall be applied to any school, college, university, institute of education, or ecclesiastical establishment; that all appropriations from the fund shall be from the interest and not the principal of the same; and that the sum of thrity thousand dollars, part of the first year's interest accruing on said fund, be appropriated towards the erection and establishment, at the city of Washington, of an Astronomical Observatory, adapted to the most continual observations of the phenomena of the Heavens; to be provided with the necessary and best instruments and books for the periodical publication of the said observations, and for the annual composition and publication of a Nautical almanac.
March 28, 1840