Attractively bound booklets with signatures of Martin Van Buren and Richard M. Johnson affixed to the front free end paper. Front cover is titled “Message From the President of the United States / Martin Van Buren / December 7, 1838” and inside contains Congressional documents pertaining to the bequest for the Smithsonian Institute.
The 5×4 signature page is signed “M. Van Buren of New York” as well as “Rh. M. Johnson of Kentucky 25 June 1840” On the rear is written “John M. Niles of Connecticut”, though not directly visible.
“Hon. John Quincy Adams: Sir: By the will of James Smithsonian, late of London, deceased, property to a considerable amount was bequeathed to the United States for the purpose, as expressed in the language of the will, of ‘founding at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.'” (p 2, Doc. 11).