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Connecting America through Coins

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Timeline of the United States Mint

1700's 1800's 1900's 2000's

right arrow Presidential Seal Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are appointed by the Continental Congress to work on creating a device for the seal of the United States of America. The first of three committees assigned to the task which will take six more years and the contributions of 14 men to complete.
right arrow (April, 19)
Congress appointed a Committee "to examine and ascertain the value of the several species of gold and silver coins and the proportions they ought to bear to the Spanish milled dollar."
right arrow Presidential Seal (September, 02)
Thomas Jefferson submits a report to Congress on the value of various coins, by decimal unit in dollars and parts of a dollar. (Believed to be the first attempt to use a decimal method for the Nation's monetary system.)

right arrow (February, 20)
A Congressional committee recommends that a Mint be established. The Treasury Board is tasked to plan and regulate the Mint and its devices to be stamped on the coins. No follow-up action taken at this time. (Earliest known record of Congressional interest to establish a mint.)
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right arrow (July, 09)
The Articles of Confederation give States the authority to strike their own coins.
right arrow (September, 26)
A Committee is selected to design the Treasury Seal (found on U.S. money). Much of the original design is still used today and is part of the Mint Seal.

right arrow (April, 30)
Alexander Hamilton sends Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance, his proposed articles of incorporation for a National Bank. Article 10 included "...the power of coining to the amount of half its stock, the quantity of alloy &c. being determined by Congress..."

right arrow (January, 15)
Robert Morris reports to Congress, requesting authority to establish a mint. He recommends that the coining costs be paid by the people using its services.

right arrow Presidential Seal (April, 26)
Thomas Jefferson reviews Morris's 1782 report, responding with "Notes on Coinage," drafted in March and April. He agrees on the "decimal proportions" but feels the unit is too small for daily transactions and recommends the Spanish dollar as the monetary unit. It's already in use and is a "convenient size" of measurement for "monetary arithmetic."
right arrow (May, 28)
The Continental Congress authorizes 3 Commissioners for the Board of Treasury.
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right arrow (May, 13)
The Grand Committee of the Continental Congress decides that the unit of American money will be the silver dollar, with all coins in a decimal ratio to each other.

right arrow (April, 12)
A Report of the Board of Treasury Relative to the Establishment of a Mint is submitted to the Continental Congress. (Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Vol. 31, p. 160)
right arrow (September, 21)
Board of Treasury submits its Ordinance for the Establishment of the Mint of the United States of America to the Continental Congress. (Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Vol. 31, p.682)
right arrow (October, 16)
The Continental Congress authorizes the establishment of a mint for the coinage of gold, silver, and copper. The Treasury Board describes the duties of top Mint Officers.
right arrow (October, 17)
Congress resolved that the Assay Master shall be allowed a salary of $600 a year and the Master Coiner, $1,000. (Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Vol. 31, p.882)
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right arrow (April, 20)
The Congressional Committee reports it prefers to produce coinage "by contract", rather than "a public expense", and chooses a proposal submitted by James Jarvis. (Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Vol. 32, p.221)
right arrow (April, 21)
Congress passes the Report on Copper Coinage, authorizing the Board of Treasury to contract for 300 tons of copper coin of Federal standard from James Jarvis. The coins will be struck at the expense of the contractor, with all monies from the contract to be applied to reducing the domestic debt and the premium to pay off interest on the foreign debt. (Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, Vol. 32, p.225)
right arrow (September, 17)
Constitution is signed by members of the Constitutional Convention. Constitution granted Congress the power to coin money, regulate its value, and provide for punishment of counterfeiting. States were explicitly prohibited from coining money.

right arrow (September, 02)
The Treasury Department is established. It is the second oldest department in the Federal Government.
right arrow Presidential Seal (September, 11)
Alexander Hamilton of New York is nominated by President Washington and confirmed by the Senate as the first Secretary of the Treasury (1789-1795). He is the first of several Secretaries nominated and confirmed on the same day, and the first of seven foreign-born Secretaries of the Treasury.
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right arrow Presidential Seal (January, 08)
Washington encourages Congress to develop a uniform currency for the nation.

right arrow (January, 28)
Alexander Hamilton submits his Report on the Subject of A Mint to Congress, and the results of the U.S. Government's first financial review on the silver content of the Spanish dollar.
right arrow (March, 03)
Congress authorizes a Mint in a resolution.

right arrow (April, 02)
Congressional legislation creates a national mint "at the seat of the government of the United States," and regulates coinage. It authorizes the Mint to make coins of gold (Eagles, Half Eagles and Quarter Eagles), silver (Dollars, Half Dollars, Quarter Dollars, Dimes, and Half Dimes), and copper (Cents and Half Cents).
right arrow Presidential Seal (April, 02)
The Act also authorizes the President to construct buildings in Philadelphia. (The Mint was the first Federal building erected under the Constitution). The Director's annual salary is set at $2,000. Annual salaries for the assayer and chief coiner will be $1,500; for the engraver and treasurer—$1,200; for clerks—$500; and "customary and reasonable" wages for workmen and servants according to their "respective stations and occupations".
right arrow Presidential Seal (April, 13)
David Rittenhouse of Pennsylvania is appointed 1st Director of the Mint by President Washington.
right arrow (May, 08)
Congressional legislation authorizes the Director of the Mint to "contract for and purchase a quantity of copper, not exceeding one hundred and fifty tons... to be coined at the Mint into cents and half cents."
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right arrow Presidential Seal The first coins struck are "half dimes", believed to be made from silverware provided by George and Martha Washington. The first circulating coins are copper cents.
right arrow Presidential Seal Jefferson resigns as Secretary of State.
right arrow (January, 06)
A "Dog for the Yard" is purchased for $3 by the Mint as protection.
right arrow Presidential Seal (January, 28)
President Washington appoints Henry Voigt as Chief Coiner.
right arrow (March, 03)
The first circulating coins--11,178 copper coins – are delivered.
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right arrow Presidential Seal (April, 03)
President Washington appoints Henry William DeSaussure of South Carolina 2nd Director of the Mint. He serves the second shortest term, resigning in less than four months.
right arrow Presidential Seal (April, 03)
President Washington nominates Albion Cox as first Assayer for the Mint. (Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate, Vol. I, p.149)

right arrow (October, 10)
The first two women are employed in the Mint to work as adjusters.
right arrow Presidential Seal (October, 28)
President Washington appoints Elias Boudinot of New Jersey 3rd Director of the Mint. He serves the 6th longest-term: 9 years and 9 months.

right arrow The Mint in Philadelphia closes in the summer and autumn due to outbreaks of yellow fever.
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right arrow Presidential Seal The Mint becomes an independent agency reporting directly to the President.
1700's 1800's 1900's 2000's

Presidential SealEvent is linked to a U.S President, Presidential action or specific Presidential authority.
The Department of the Treasury Seal