Home  »  Respectfully Quoted  »  James Smithson (1765–1829)

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: James Smithson (1765–1829)
QUOTATION: Every man is a valuable member of society who, by his observations, researches, and experiments, procures knowledge for men … it is in his knowledge that man has found his greatness and his happiness, the high superiority which he holds over the other animals who inhabit the earth with him, and consequently no ignorance is probably without loss to him, no error without evil … the particle and the planet are subject to the same laws, and what is learned of one will be known of the other … I bequeath the whole of my property … to the United States of America to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.
ATTRIBUTION: JAMES SMITHSON, various writings, including his will. Inscription, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
SUBJECTS: Knowledge