22.74 cu. ft. (1 record storage box) (40 document boxes) (3 tall document boxes) (1 oversize folder)
1886-1928 and undated
These papers include official records that document the history of the USNH while Joseph Nelson Rose was assistant botanist at the United States Department of Agriculture
(1888-1896), assistant and associate curator, USNH, United States National Museum (1896-1911), and the Division of Plants, USNM (1917-1928); also personal and official papers
documenting Rose's professional career, including incoming and occasional loose outgoing correspondence after 1910 (watermarks on 1910 and 1911 outgoing loose correspondence
along with virtually nonexistent outgoing letterpress correspondence after 1909 are a result of water damage to the records) with leading foreign and United States botanists;
colleagues; herbarium and nursery curators; florists; agrostologists; field agents; amateur plant collectors; United States Department of Agriculture administrative officers;
Smithsonian Institution administrative officers; agricultural experiment stations; editors; and friends. Correspondence regards examination, identification, and reports on
botanical specimens; identification of specimens for publications; transfer of specimens to the USNH; exchange of specimens; requests to Rose regarding information on the
flora of Texas and Mexico; requests for bulbs, seeds, and plants; purchasing of cacti collections; research and collecting expeditions; authorization for expeditions; nomenclature;
illustrations for journals; collaboration over collecting specimens and publishing; requests for jobs; requests to recommend colleagues to systematize cultivated plants; proposals
for a building to house the USNH in order to expand the collection; meetings of scientific societies; requests for Who's Who autobiographical information; outgoing
letterpress correspondence (1894-1909, 1911-1912) regarding the above; also manuscripts and correspondence pertaining to the joint Cactaceae project with Nathaniel Lord Britton;
manuscripts and correspondence about the joint project with John Donnell Smith regarding Hauyeae; reviews; and occasional newspaper clippings pertaining to botanists whose
letters are located in the correspondence folders.
Joseph Nelson Rose, botanist, was born on a farm near Liberty, Indiana, on January 11, 1862. In 1881 he entered Wabash College, graduating with an A.B. in 1885. Rose
stayed on at Wabash College as its first postgraduate student, receiving his A.M. in 1887 and his Ph.D. in 1889. During his last two years he acted as an assistant in botany
under John M. Coulter, who was to have an influence on his later career.
Rose was appointed as an assistant botanist in the United States Department of Agriculture under George Vasey, working in the United States National Herbarium (USNH), in
August 1888. (For a history of the USNH and George Vasey, see the description for the Hunt Institute collection 105.)
When the USNH was moved back to the Smithsonian in 1896, Rose transferred to the United States National Museum as an assistant curator, Division of Plants. In 1905 he was
made associate curator.
Though Frederick Vernon Coville was honorary curator, USNH and the Division of Plants, in the United States National Museum (while at the same time chief botanist of the
Plant Industry, USDA), it appears that Rose was directly in charge of the National Herbarium. Outgoing letterpress correspondence within these records contains copies of the
USNH report for the Smithsonian Annual Report being transmitted by Coville through Rose and Rose's report on the Division of Plants for the Annual Report being sent to Coville.
At times, Rose signed outgoing correspondence over the title, acting curator. Coville remained Rose's supervisor, however, with correspondence regarding Rose's collecting
activities being transmitted between Smithsonian administrative officers and Coville.
In 1912, Rose transferred from the United States National Museum (USNM) to the Carnegie Institution of Washington as a research associate in order to prepare a monograph
with Nathaniel Lord Britton on Cactaceae of the world. This work was jointly supported by the Carnegie Institution, the New York Botanical Garden, and the USDA. Rose was relieved
of his administrative duties with the Smithsonian. Nonetheless, he retained an office in the Smithsonian and was allowed the use of Smithsonian franking privileges for all
correspondence regarding his project, while retaining the title of custodian of "Cactaceae, Crassulaceae, and Miscellaneous Mexican Collections" in the National Herbarium.
Rose officially returned to the Smithsonian as associate curator, Division of Plants, in 1917, retaining that position until his death on May 4, 1928.
Rose's collecting activities and botanical studies began with the flora, fungi, and pine of Indiana and the Umbelliferae of North America. He was assigned the Mexican collections
gathered by Edward Palmer while assistant botanist at the USDA. This led to 20 years of study of the flora of Mexico and numerous publications, including his "Studies of Mexican
and Central America Plants," published in Contributions from the United States National Herbarium (1897-1911). His important study on Cactaceae of the world with Nathaniel
Lord Britton resulted in the publication of four volumes titled The Cactaceae (1919-1923). Overall, Rose published almost 200 articles and monographs by himself and
in collaboration with other botanists. Besides his own collecting explorations, Rose was instrumental in bringing to the Smithsonian one of its most important gifts, the large
private herbarium and botanical library belonging to John Donnell Smith of Baltimore.
In reward for his botanical investigations and publications, Rose received an LL.D. from Wabash College in 1925. His remarks made during the ceremonies are included in
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.