So much as relates to the operations of the Mint and branches, referred to the Committee of Ways and Means; and so much as relates to medals, to the Committee on the Library.
To the House of Representatives of the United States:
I transmit, herewith, to the House of Representatives of the United States, a report from the Director of the Mint, exhibiting the operations of that institution during the year 1840; and I have to invite the special attention of Congress to that part of the director’s report in relation to the over-valuation given to the gold in foreign coins by the act of Congress of June 28, 1834, “regulating the value of certain foreign gold coins within the United States.”
Applications have been frequently made at the Mint for copies of medals voted at different times by Congress to the officers who distinguished themselves in the war of the Revolution and in the last war, the dies for which are deposited in the Mint: and it is submitted to Congress whether authority shall be given to the Mint to strike off copies of those medals, in bronze or other metal, to supply those persons making application for them, at a cost not to exceed the actual expense of striking them off.
M. VAN BUREN.
Washington, January 22, 1841.
Mint of the United States,
Philadelphia, January 20, 1841.
Sir: I have the honor to present, as the annual report required of me by law, the following statement of the operations of the Mint and its branches during the past year:
The coinage executed at the Mint in 1840 amounted to $2,260,667, comprising $1,207,437 in gold, $1,028,603 in silver, and $24,627 in copper coins, and composed of 7,053,084 pieces. (Statement A.)
The deposites of gold within the year amounted to $1,201,998, of which $176,766 was derived from the mines of the United States. (Statements B and C.)
The deposites of silver amounted to $1,033,070, and were derived principally from Mexico. (Statement D.)
By successive improvements in the machinery and processes of the Mint, introduced during the last few years, its means for executing a large amount of coinage have been greatly increased; and it is matter of regret, that, in consequence of the diminished supply of bullion, these means have been of late so inadequately employed. The Mint could readily have coined twelve millions in the past year, instead of little more than two and a quarter, without any considerable advance in its expenses.
At the close of the year, the public funds in our vaults, under the laws authorizing deposites with the Mint for the purchase of metals for coinage, and for securing prompt payments to depositors, amounted to $389,198 25 in gold and silver. The amount withdrawn during the year, on Treasury drafts, was $153,916 76; and the amount added, $26,417 97.
At the New Orleans branch mint, the coinage for 1840 amounted to $915,600, comprising $217,500 in gold, and $698,100 in silver coins, and composed of 3,446,900 pieces. (Statement E.)
The deposites for coinage during the year amounted to $164,929 in gold, and $666,676 in silver. (Statement F.)
It gives me great satisfaction to state that this branch of the Mint has escaped during the last season the disasters which have before so seriously interfered with its efficiency. Its operations have gone on throughout the year; and as it appears to have made prompt and full returns for all the bullion brought to it for coinage, it must be considered as having performed its functions successfully.
The branch mint at Charlotte received during the year deposites of gold to the value of $124,726, exclusive of a few small deposites at the end of the year, of which the value has not been reported. The amount of its coinage was $127,055, composed of 18,994 half-eagles and 12,834 quarter-eagles. (Statements E and F.)
The branch mint at Dahlonega received during the year deposites of gold to the value of $121,858, and its coinage amounted to $123,310, composed of 22,896 half-eagles and 3,532 quarter-eagles. (Statements E and F.)
The deposites at these mints do not differ materially from those of the two preceding years; nor does there appear, from other evidence, to have been any considerable change, during this period, in the production of gold from the mines of the United States.
There are two circumstances which serve to diminish the amount of gold coinage at our mints, and which seem to me to call for legislative interference. One of these is the private coinage known to be carried on in the neighborhood of the mines to a considerable extent. Assays repeatedly made at this Mint show that the coins thus fabricated are below the nominal value marked upon them; yet they circulate freely at this value, and therefore it must be more advantageous to the miner to carry his bullion to the private than the public mints. It seems strange that the privilege of coining copper should be carefully confined by law to the General Government; while that of coining gold and silver, though withheld from the States, is freely permitted to individuals, with the single restriction that they must not imitate the coinage established by law.
The second circumstance adverted to, is the over-valuation given to the gold in foreign coins by the act of June 28, 1834. This act supposes the gold coins of Great Britain, Portugal, and Brazil to be 22 carats (corresponding to 916⅔ thousandths) fine – an assumption which is not confirmed by our assays. The British gold does not exceed 915½ thousandths, and is not received at the Mint of France at more than 915. The gold coins of Portugal and Brazil vary from 913½ to 914½. All these coins, therefore, are virtually over-valued by the law; for what it states as a condition, is received and acted upon by the public as a fact. Indeed, even if the coins in question were of the assumed standard, they would still be rated too high, because our own standard was raised by the act of January 18, 1837, from 899.225 to 900. I have before invited attention to this subject in my annual reports, and have respectfully recommended, as I again do, that the act in question be repealed. This act is unnecessary, because the mints of the United States are abundantly sufficient for all the gold coinage required for circulation; it is inconvenient, because the foreign coins which it makes a legal tender do not correspond in value and denomination with our money of account; and it is erroneous and impolitic, because it stamps a higher value upon foreign gold than upon our own.
I have the honor to be, sir, with great respect, your faithful servant,
Director of the Mint.
To the President of the United States.
Statement of the coinage at the Mint of the United States, Philadelphia, in the year 1840.
Statement of the deposites of gold for coinage at the Mint of the United States, Philadelphia, in the year 1840.
|The deposites of gold for coinage amounted to||$1,201,998|
|Of which was received from the United States, viz:|
|Coins of the United States, old standard||11,256|
|The deposites of gold for coinage amounted to||1,201,998|
Statement of the annual amounts of deposites of gold, for coinage, at the Mint of the United States and its branches, from the mines of the United States.
|Periods.||Deposited at the United States Mint, Philadelphia.||Deposited at the branch mints.||Mint and branches.|
|Total at United States Mint.||Branch at Charlotte, North Carolina.||Branch at Dahlonega, Georgia.||Branch at New Orleans, Louisiana.||Total at branch mints.||Total deposites of United States gold.|
Statement of the deposites of silver, for coinage, at the Mint of the United States, Philadelphia, in the year 1840.
|The deposites of silver, for coinage, amounted to||$1,033,070|
|Of which there was in –|
|Dollars of South America||36,793|
|Bullion and plate,||268,566|
|The deposites of silver, for coinage amounted to||1,033,070|
Statement of the amount of coinage at the branch mints in the year 1840.
|Half-eagles.||Quarter-eagles.||Number of pieces.||Value.||Half-dollars.||Quarter-dollars.||Dimes.||Half-dimes.||Number of pieces.||Value.||Whole number of pieces.||Whole value.|
Statement of the amount of deposites for coinage, at the branch mints in the year 1840.
|United States coins, old standard.||United States bullion.||Foreign coins.||Foreign bullion.||Total of gold.||Foreign coins.||Foreign bullion.||Total silver.||Gold and silver.|
|Charlotte, North Carolina||$124,726||$124,726||$124,726|
|New Orleans, Louisiana||$348||2,835||$143,297||$18,449||164,929||$619,856||$46,820||$666,676||831,605|
|Charlotte, North Carolina|
Recapitulation of deposites and coinage, at the Mint of the United States and its branches, in the year 1840.
|U.S. gold.||Foreign gold.||Total of gold.||Value.||Value.||Pieces.||Value.||Pieces.||Value.||Pieces.||Value.||Pieces.||Value.|
Statement of the coinage at the Mint of the United States, for each successive period of ten years, from the commencement of its operations until December 31, 1840.
|Eagles.||Half-eagles.||Quarter-eagles.||Number of pieces.||Value.||Dollars.||Half-dollars.||Quarter-dollars.||Dimes.|
|1793 to 1800||69,474||62,452||2,916||134,842||$1,014,290||00||1,257,458||327,062||6,146||96,706|
|1801 to 1810||63,118||514,272||19,281||596,671||3,250,742||50||182,059||6,401,973||554,899||423,765|
|1811 to 1820||633,302||633,302||3,166,510||00||11,294,842||721,853||1,429,267|
|1821 to 1830||368,126||24,985||393,111||1,903,092||50||32,057,426||572,731||4,856,512|
|1831 to 1840||92,786||2,897,795||947,828||3,938,409||17,786,405||00||62,305||46,132,259||5,347,673||10,460,045|
|1831 to 1840||225,378||4,475,947||995,010||5,696,335||27,121,040||00||1,501,822||96,213,562||7,203,302||17,266,295|
|Half-dimes.||Number of pieces.||Value.||Cents.||Half-cents.||Number of pieces.||Value.||Number of pieces.||Value.|
|1793 to 1800||165,173||1,852,545||$1,440,454||75||7,644,703||588,759||8,233,462||$79,390||82||10,220,849||$2,534,135||57|
|1801 to 1810||100,370||7,663,066||3,569,165||25||13,832,832||4,583,614||17,416,446||151,246||39||25,676,183||6,971,154||14|
|1811 to 1820||13,445,962||5,970,810||95||19,084,287||63,140||19,147,427||191,158||57||33,226,691||9,328,479||52|
|1821 to 1830||2,470,000||39,956,669||16,781,046||95||14,446,220||1,390,000||15,836,220||151,412||20||56,186,000||18,835,551||65|
|1831 to 1840||16,661,935||78,664,217||26,344,454||00||33,824,621||815,200||34,639,821||342,322||21||117,242,447||44,473,181||21|
|1831 to 1840||19,397,478||141,582,459||54,105,931||90||88,832,663||7,440,713||95,273,376||915,530||19||242,552,170||82,142,502||09|
Recapitulation of the amount of coinage at the Mint of the United States and its branches, from the commencement of operations to December 31, 1840.
|Commenced operations.||Mints.||Whole coinage, in pieces.||Whole coinage, in value.|
|1838||Charlotte branch mint||94,248||373,987||50|
|1838||Dahlonega branch mint||79,624||355,105||00|
|1838||New Orleans branch mint||6,250,930||1,183,003||00|
|New Orleans branch mint|