An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities

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An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities  (1906) 
the United States Government

The Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities (16 U.S.C. §§ 431-33, 34 Stat. 225) granted the President the right to declare National Monuments for any historical landmark in the jurisdiction of the United States. This declaration granted protection to the landmark by the Federal Government and gave its control to the Secretary of the Interior, Agriculture, and/or War (Defense).

Fifty-Nineth Congress

of the

United States of America

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,

the fourth day of December, nineteen hundred and five

An Act

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

Section 1[edit]

That any person who shall appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States, without the permission of the Secretary of the Department of the Government having jurisdiction over the lands on which said antiquities are situated, shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for a period of not more than ninety days, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court. (U.S.C., title 16, sec. 433.)

Section 2[edit]

That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fide unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much as thereof may be necessary for the proper care and management of the objects may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States. (U.S.C., title 16, sec. 431.)

Section 3[edit]

That permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to institutions which they may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may prescribe: Provided, That the examinations, excavations, and gatherings are undertaken for the benefit of reputable museums, universities, colleges, or other recognized scientific or educational institutions, with a view to increasing the knowledge of such objects, and that the gatherings should be made for permanent preservation in public museums. (U.S.C., title 16, sec. 432.)

Section 4[edit]

That the Secretaries of the Departments aforesaid shall make and publish from time to time uniform rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act. (U.S.C., title 16, sec. 432.)


Joseph Gurney Cannon signature.png
Joseph Gurney Cannon, 40th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives

Charles Warren Fairbanks Signature.svg
Charles W. Fairbanks, 26th Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate

Theodore Roosevelt signature.gif
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
June 8, 1906

References and original text[edit]

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).