David Finkelstein has been doing a great deal of research in the National Archives into the early workings of the U.S. Mint. In today's issue of the JR Newsletter (an
electronic publication of the John Reich Collectors Society), David published an article on the release of the 1794 dollars and who received them. Here's a short excerpt. -Editor
Introduction – October 15, 1794 On October 15, 1794, 1,758 dollars were transferred from the custody of Chief Coiner Henry Voigt to the custody of Treasurer of the Mint Dr. Nicholas Way. This was
done per Delivery Warrant #1, as ordered by Director of the Mint David Rittenhouse.
Very little is known about when the 1,758 1794 dollars were released from the Mint. In his reference book, “Die Varieties of Early United States Coins”, Robert Hilt II stated:
Mint records, now in the national archives, show that the second and third deposits of silver at the mint were made by the director David Rittenhouse… Furthermore, Rittenhouse received part of his
payment in dollars and in the exact amount of dollars comprising the first delivery of dollars on October 15, 1794 a total of one thousand seven hundred fifty eight (1,758) dollars
Recently, I came across a document that was written on October 16, 1794. Based on my analysis of numismatic articles, books, and other publications, I believe this document has never before been
published to the numismatic community.
On October 16, 1794, Secretary of State Edmund Randolph wrote the following letter to President George Washington. Note paragraph 2:
The silver coin of the U.S. bears upon its face so much neatness and simplicity, that I cannot restrain myself from transmitting a dollar for your inspection.
How Did Edmund Randolph Receive That 1794 Dollar?
In order for Edmund Randolph to have sent a 1794 dollar to President Washington on October 16, 1794, that 1794 dollar must have been returned to a silver bullion depositor, then provided to Edmund
Randolph, who in turn forwarded it to the President.
Since 1,758 dollars were delivered to the custody of Treasurer of Mint Dr. Nicholas Way on October 15, 1794, the silver bullion used in those dollars had to have been deposited with the Mint prior
to October 15, 1794. There were 6 silver bullion deposits made prior to October 15, 1794. See Figure 2. The depositors, dates of their deposits, and the value of their deposits in United States money
were as follows:
1. Bank of Maryland, July 18, 1794, $80,414.30 ½.
2. David Rittenhouse, August 22, 1794, $1,706.82 ½.
3. David Rittenhouse, August 22, 1794, $294.51 ½.
4. Charles Gilchrist, August 22, 1794, $1,306.73.
5. Charles Gilchrist, August 22, 1794, $46.90.
6. The Bank of North America, August 23, 1794, $22,236.63.
Note that the entries in the Register of Silver Deposits for the Bank of Maryland's and Bank of North America's silver bullion deposits were incorrect. They were corrected on August 24, 1794 due
to the “inaccuracy of the Avoirdupois weights”.
Since the Bank of Maryland made the 1st silver deposit and David Rittenhouse made the 2nd and 3rd silver deposits, I have devised four possible scenarios that could have resulted in Edmund
Randolph forwarding a 1794 dollar to President Washington.
You'll have to read the rest online... -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
The First 1794 Dollar Released From The Mint
Wayne Homren, Editor
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