31st Congress,
2nd Session.
[Senate]
Ex. Doc.
No. 21

MESSAGE
of
The President of the United States,

Communicating

The report of the Director of the Mint, showing the operations of the mint and branch mints during the year 1850.

. . . . . . . .



February 4, 1851.

Referred to the Committee on Finance, and ordered to be printed.

. . . . . . . .



To the Senate of the United States:

I transmit herewith the annual report of the director of the mint at Philadelphia, showing the operations of the mint and branch mints for the year 1850.

MILLARD FILLMORE.

WASHINGTON, January 30, 1851.

. . . . . . . .

MINT OF THE UNITED STATES,
January 27, 1851.

SIR: In compliance with the 2d section of the mint act of January 18, 1837, I have the honor to make a report to you of the operations of the mint and branch mints during the past year.

The coinage of the principal mint in 1850 amounted to $27,756,445½ in gold, $409,600 in silver, and $44,467½ in copper coins, and was composed of 10,039,535 pieces. The deposites for coinage amounted to $33,149,858 in gold, and $633,628 in silver.

The coinage at the New Orleans branch mint amounted to $3,619,000 in gold, and $1,456,500 in silver coins, composed of 4,404,500 pieces. The deposites were $4,647,315 in gold, and $1,305,413 in silver.

The coinage at Charlotte amounted to $347,791 in gold, composed of 79,705 pieces. The deposites were $320,289 in gold.

The coinage at Dahlonega amounted to $258,502 in gold, composed of 64,480 pieces. The deposites amounted to $247,698 in gold.

The coinage at the four mints was $33,892,306, comprising $31,981,738½ in gold, $1,866,100 in silver, and $44,467½ in copper coins, and composed of 14,588,220 pieces. The total deposites were $40,304,201; of which $38,365,160 were in gold, and $1,939,041 in silver.

I refer you to certain tables, which are annexed to this report, for statistics relating to the operations of the mint in the past and former years. Table A exhibits, in detail, the deposites and coinage during the past year. Table B exhibits details of the coinage from the organization of the several mints. Table C shows the total deposites of gold bullion of United States production, together with the sources whence they were derived.

From these tables it may be perceived that the operations of the mints during the past year have been unprecedented in our history. The largest coinages before executed were in 1847 and in 1843 - the total amount at all the mints being, in the former year, $22,657,672; in the latter year $11,967,830. But the coinage of 1850 exceeded that of 1847 by over $11,000,000, and was nearly three times that of 1843. At the Philadelphia mint the coinage of the past year was nearly twice that of 1847, and over four times that of 1843.

The increase in the proportion of our gold to our silver deposites, and the enormous amount of the former, derived from the mines of the United States, are deserving of especial notice. Of the bullion received the silver comprised less than a twentieth part of the whole value; and even of this small proportion as much as one-eighth was derived by separation from the California gold. Of the deposites of gold received, only about one thirty fifth part was in foreign coins or bullion. The remainder, amounting to $36,938,314, was of United States production, of which $36,273,097 were from California. The entire receipts from that source, from the discovery of the mines to the close of 1850, were $42,469,758.

A comparison of the deposites and coinage of gold at the Philadelphia and New Orleans mints exhibits large uncoined balances at the close of the past year; the amounts being, at Philadelphia $5,393,413, at New Orleans $1,028,315. I feel it to be my duty to present a brief and very general explanation of the causes to which this circumstance is to be attributed.

Prior to the discovery of the California mines, the deposites at this and the New Orleans mint were almost entirely in foreign coins, which, being already refined, were fit to pass into ingots for coinage, without other preparation than a proper admixture to bring them to our own standard. The apparatus and coining arrangements were quite ample for converting into our own money any probable amount of deposites of this character.

California gold, however, contains a large proportion of silver, above one-ninth of the mass being in that metal. This is much more than we are allowed by law to leave in the gold coin as alloy. A separation of the superfluous silver, therefore, became necessary.

This department of labor, although it forms, generally, in other countries, no part of the functions of their mints, has been made obligatory upon the mints of our own country. Separating (or refining) departments had accordingly been organized upon a scale quite moderate, indeed; but much more than sufficient for all the business of that kind prior to the influx of the California gold.

The refinery of the Philadelphia mint at the close of 1848, when the first deposites from California were received, was capable of separating about $100,000 per month of argentiferous gold bullion. Since then, the amount of that bullion received has gone on increasing, month by month, until it reached the sum of $4,600,000 in December last.

To meet the demands thus made upon us very extensive enlargements became necessary and have been effected, in the refining department of the mint. By arrangements now on the point of completion, the capacity of this establishment for refining will have reached to from six to seven millions of dollars per month, by the separating process now in use.

This large increase of power has not been attained without many necessary delays and interruptions in the progress of our work, while the stream of our deposites was constantly on the rise; so that, although the changes indicated were prosecuted with the greatest energy, we have not been able to avert the accumulation of the large uncoined balance to which I have referred.

I see no reason to doubt, however, that, with the means now at our disposal, and such further enlargements as are in our power, the mint will be enabled in a few months both to free itself from the debt now accumulated, and to secure prompt payment of all future deposites.

At the New Orleans mint, difficulties analogous to our own have been sustained, with some others to which we have not been subjected. There is no reason, however, to doubt the competency of that mint to any coinage which is likely to be demanded of it.

In the coining department of this mint no changes of a marked character were required. In consequence of the increasing demand for the smaller gold coins, we have, however, found it necessary to add largely to the adjusting force, whose duty it is to test the weights of the separate pieces before they are struck. At the suggestion of the chief coiner I authorized him to employ females for this purpose, the labor being entirely suited to their capacity. Nearly forty have already been introduced into that service; and the number will be still further increased. We are consequently enabled, in addition to the necessary supply of the larger pieces, to extend very greatly our coinage of the smaller gold pieces, with a view to meet the deficiency created by the withdrawal of silver from circulation.

It is proper that I should state, to prevent misapprehension, that the discrepancy between the deposites and coinage of silver at the Philadelhpia mint, is apparent only. The amount of those deposites stated as of United States production is constituted almost altogether of the silver contained in California gold; which, though credited in full to the depositor is subject to certain charges growing out of the expense of its separation, the net amount only being included in the payment of the deposite. Some portion of this silver is, likewise, retained in the refineryy it being indispensably necessary as a material in the process of separating mixed bullion at present adopted.

Very respectfully, your faithful servant,

R. M. PATTERSON,
Director.

MILLARD FILLMORE,
  President of the United States.


A.

Statement of deposites and coinage at the mint of the United States and its branches, in the year 1850.

DEPOSITES.
Mints. Total.
Charlotte. Dahlonega. New Orleans. Philadelphia.
Gold.
United States coins, old standard $622 $9,374 $9,996
Foreign coins 62,010 1,241,730 1,303,740
United States bullion $320,289 $247,698 4,580,021 31,790,306 36,938,314
Foreign bullion 4,662 108,448 113,110
Total of gold 320,289 247,698 4,647,315 33,149,858 38,365,160
Silver.
Foreign coins 1,201,013 325,583 1,526,596
Foreign bullion 67,831 75,361 143,192
United States bullion 36,569 232,684 269,253
Total of silver 1,305,413 633,628 1,939,041
Total gold and silver 320,289 247,698 5,952,728 33,783,486 40,304,201
 
COINAGE.
Gold.
Double eaglespieces 141,000 1,170,261 1,311,261
Eaglesdo 57,500 291,451 348,951
Half eaglesdo 63,591 43,950 64,491 172,032
Quarter eaglesdo 9,148 12,148 84,000 252,923 358,219
Dollarsdo 6,966 8,382 14,000 481,953 511,301
Value of gold $347,791 $258,502 $3,619,000 $27,756,445½ $31,981,738½
Silver.
Dollarspieces 40,000 7,500 47,500
Half dollarsdo 2,456,000 227,000 2,683,000
Quarter dollarsdo 412,000 190,800 602,800
Dimesdo 510,000 1,931,500 2,441,500
Half dimesdo 690,000 955,000 1,645,000
Value of silver $1,456,500 $409,600 $1,866,100
Copper.
Centspieces 4,426,844 4,426,844
Half centsdo 39,812 39,812
Value of copper $44,467½ $44,467½
Total coinage in pieces 79,905 64,480 4,404,500 10,039,535 14,588,220
Total coinage in value $347,791 $258,502 $5,075,500 $28,210,513 $33,892,306

B.

Coinage of the mint and branch mints from their organization to the close of the year 1850.

1. MINT OF THE UNITED STATES AT PHILADELPHIA.
    Periods.     GOLD COINAGE.
Double eagles. Eagles. Half eagles. Quarter eagles. Dollars.
Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces.
1793 to 1817 132,592 845,909 22,197
1816 to 1837 3,087,925 879,903
1838 7,200 286,588 47,030
1839 38,248 118,143 27,021
1840 47,338 137,382 18,859
1841 63,131 15,833
1842 81,507 27,578 2,823
1843 75,462 611,205 100,546
1844 6,361 340,370 6,784
1845 26,153 417,099 91,051
1846 20,095 395,942 21,598
1847 862,264 919,781 29,814
1848 145,484 960,775 8,886
1849 653,618 133,070 23,294 688,567
1850 1,170,261 291,451 64,491 252,923 481,953
Total 1,170,261 2,450,904 7,662,091 1,532,729 1,170,520


MINT OF THE UNITED STATES AT PHILADELPHIA - Continued.
    Periods.     SILVER COINAGE. COPPER COINAGE.
Dollars. Half dollars. Quarter dollars. Dimes. Half dimes. Cents. Half cents.
Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces.
1793 to 1817 1,439,517 13,104,433 650,280 1,007,151 265,543 29,316,272 5,235,513
1818 to 1837 1,000 74,793,560 5,041,749 11,854,949 14,463,700 46,554,830 2,205,200
1838 3,546,000 832,000 1,992,500 2,255,000 6,370,200
1839 300 3,334,561 491,146 1,053,115 1,069,150 3,128,661
1840 61,005 1,435,008 188,127 1,358,580 1,344,085 2,462,700
1841 173,000 310,000 120,000 1,622,500 1,150,000 1,597,367
1842 184,618 2,012,764 88,000 1,887,500 815,000 2,383,390
1843 165,100 3,844,000 645,600 1,370,000 1,165,000 2,428,320
1844 20,000 1,766,000 421,200 72,500 430,000 2,397,752
1845 24,500 589,000 922,000 1,755,000 1,564,000 3,894,804
1846 110,600 2,210,000 510,000 31,300 27,000 4,120,800
1847 140,750 1,156,000 734,000 245,000 1,274,000 6,183,669
1848 15,000 580,000 146,000 451,500 668,000 6,415,799
1849 62,600 1,252,000 340,000 839,000 1,309,000 4,178,500 39,864
1850 7,500 227,000 190,800 1,931,500 955,000 4,426,844 39,812
Total 2,405,490 110,160,326 11,320,902 27,472,095 28,754,478 125,859,908 7,520,389


MINT OF THE UNITED STATES AT PHILADELPHIA - Continued.
    Periods.     TOTAL COINAGE.
No. of pieces coined     Value of gold.   Value of silver. Value of copper. Total value coined.
1793 to 1817 52,019,407 5,610,957  50 8,268,295  75 319,340  28 14,198,593  53
1818 to 1837 158,882,816 17,639,382  50 40,566,897  15 476,574  30 58,682,853  95
1838 15,336,518 1,622,515  00 2,293,000  00 63,702  00 3,979,217  00
1839 9,260,345 1,040,747  50 1,949,136  00 31,286  61 3,021,170  11
1840 7,053,084 1,207,437  50 1,028,603  00 24,627  00 2,260,667  50
1841 5,051,831 710,475  00 577,750  00 15,973  67 1,304,198  67
1842 7,483,180 960,017  50 1,442,500  00 23,833  90 2,426,351  40
1843 10,405,233 4,062,010  00 2,443,750  00 24,283  20 6,530,043  20
1844 5,460,967 1,782,420  00 1,037,050  00 23,977  52 2,843,447  52
1845 9,283,607 2,574,652  50 803,200  00 38,948  04 3,416,800  54
1846 7,447,335 2,234,655  00 1,347,580  00 41,208  00 3,623,443  00
1847 11,545,278 13,296,080  00 990,450  00 61,836  69 14,348,366  69
1848 8,691,444 2,780,930  00 420,050  00 64,157  99 3,265,137  99
1849 9,519,513 7,948,332  00 922,950  00 41,984  32 8,913,266  32
1850 10,039,535 27,756,445  50 409,600  00 44,467  50 28,210,513  00
Total 327,480,093 91,227,057  50 64,500,811  90 1,296,201  02 157,024,070  42


2. BRANCH MINT AT NEW ORLEANS.
    Periods.     GOLD COINAGE.
Double eagles. Eagles. Half eagles. Quarter eagles. Dollars.
Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces.
1838
1839 17,346
1840 32,500 26,200
1841 4,500 6,350 7,180
1842 27,300 16,400 19,800
1843 175,062 179,075 290,002
1844 118,700 364,600
1845 47,500 41,000
1846 81,780 58,000 66,000
1847 571,500 12,000 124,000
1848 35,850
1849 23,900 215,000
1850 141,000 57,500 84,000 14,000
Total 141,000 1,143,592 709,925 634,528 229,000


BRANCH MINT AT NEW ORLEANS - Continued.
    Periods.     SILVER COINAGE.
Dollars. Half dollars. Quarter dollars. Dimes. Half dimes.
Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces.
1838 205,000 35,000
1839 115,000 690,000 460,000
1840 815,000 426,100 1,241,000 909,000
1841 367,000 452,500 2,007,500 815,000
1842 957,000 769,000 1,950,000 350,000
1843 2,268,000 518,000 150,000
1844 2,005,000 740,000 220,000
1845 2,094,000 230,000
1846 59,000 2,304,000
1847 2,584,000 368,000
1848 3,180,000 600,000
1849 2,310,000 300,000 140,000
1850 40,000 2,456,000 412,000 510,000 690,000
Total 99,000 21,455,000 3,685,600 7,283,500 4,219,000


BRANCH MINT AT NEW ORLEANS - Continued.
    Periods.     TOTAL COINAGE.
No. of pieces coined     Value of gold.   Value of silver. Total value coined.
1838 240,000 $22,250 $22,250
1839 1,282,346 $43,365 149,500 192,865
1840 3,449,800 228,000 683,575 911,575
1841 3,660,030 94,700 538,125 632,825
1842 4,089,500 404,500 883,250 1,287,750
1843 3,580,139 3,371,000 1,278,500 4,649,500
1844 3,448,300 3,010,000 1,198,500 4,208,500
1845 2,412,500 680,000 1,070,000 1,750,000
1846 2,568,780 1,272,800 1,211,000 2,483,800
1847 3,659,500 6,085,000 1,384,000 7,469,000
1848 3,815,850 358,500 1,620,000 1,978,500
1849 2,988,900 454,000 1,192,000 1,646,000
1850 4,404,500 3,619,000 1,456,500 5,075,500
Total 39,600,145 19,620,865 12,687,200 32,308,065


3. BRANCH MINT AT CHARLOTTE, N. C.
    Periods.     GOLD COINAGE.
Half eagles. Quarter eagles. Gold dollars. Total. Total value of coinage.
Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Dollars.
1838 12,886 7,894 20,780 84,165  00
1839 23,467 18,173 41,640 162,767  50
1840 18,994 12,834 31,828 127,055  00
1841 21,467 10,281 31,748 133,037  50
1842 27,480 8,642 36,122 159,005  00
1843 44,353 26,096 70,449 287,005  00
1844 23,631 11,622 35,253 147,210  00
1845
1846 12,995 4,808 17,803 76,995  00
1847 84,151 23,226 107,377 478,820  00
1848 64,472 16,788 81,260 364,330  00
1849 64,823 10,220 11,634 86,677 361,299  00
1850 63,591 9,148 6,966 79,705 347,791  00
Total 462,310 159,732 18,600 640,642 2,729,480  00


4. BRANCH MINT AT DAHLONEGA, GA.
    Periods.     GOLD COINAGE.
Half eagles. Quarter eagles. Gold dollars. Total. Total value of coinage.
Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Pieces. Dollars.
1838 20,583 20,583 102,915  00
1839 18,939 13,674 32,613 128,880  00
1840 23,896 3,532 27,428 128,310  00
1841 30,695 4,164 34,859 163,885  00
1842 59,608 4,643 64,251 309,647  50
1843 98,450 36,209 134,659 582,772  50
1844 89,054 17,332 106,386 488,600  00
1845 90,629 19,460 110,089 501,795  00
1846 80,294 19,303 99,597 449,727  50
1847 64,405 15,784 80,189 361,485  00
1848 47,465 13,771 61,236 271,752  50
1849 39,036 10,945 21,569 244,130  50
1850 43,950 12,148 8,382 64,480 258,502  00
Total 707,004 170,965 29,970 907,939 3,992,402  50



Summary exhibit of the coinage of the mints, to the close of 1850.

    Mints.     Commencement
of coinage.
Gold coinage. Silver coinage. Copper coinage. Entire coinage.
Value. Value. Value. Number of pieces. Value.
Philadelphia 1793 $91,227,057  50 $64,500,811  90 $1,296,201  02 327,480,093 $157,024,070  42
New Orleans 1838 19,620,865  00 12,687,200  00 39,600,145 32,308,065  00
Charlotte 1838 2,729,480  00 640,642 2,729,480  00
Dahlonega 1838 3,992,402  50 907,939 3,992,402  50
Total 117,569,805  00 77,188,011  90 1,296,201  02 368,628,819 196,054,017  92

C.

Statement of the amount of gold of domestic production deposited at the mint of the United States and its branches to the close of 1850.

1. MINT OF THE UNITED STATES.
    Periods.     Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia. Tennessee. Alabama. New Mexico. California. Various sources. Total.
1804 to 1827 $110,000 $110,000
1828 to 1837 $427,000 2,519,500 $327,500 $1,763,900 $12,400 $13,200 5,063,500
1838 to 1847 518,294 1,303,636 152,366 566,316 16,499 $45,493 21,037 2,623,641
1848 57,886 109,034 19,228 3,370 3,497 3,670 $682 $44,177 241,544
1849 129,382 102,688 4,309 10,525 2,739 2,977 32,889 5,481,439 144 5,767,092
1850 65,991 43,734 759 5,114 307 1,178 5,392 31,667,505 326 31,790,306
Total 1,198,553 4,188,592 504,162 2,349,225 35,442 53,318 38,963 37,193,121 34,707 45,596,083


2. BRANCH MINT AT NEW ORLEANS.
    Periods.     Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia. Tennessee. Alabama. New Mexico. California. Various sources. Total.
1838 to 1847 $741 $14,306 $37,364 $1,772 $61,903 $3,613 $119,699
1848 1,488 2,317 947 6,717 $1,124 12,593
1849 423 4,062 669,921 2,783 677,189
1850 3,560 4,575,567 894 4,580,021
Total 741 16,217 39,681 2,719 76,242 5,246,612 7,290 5,389,502


3. BRANCH MINT, CHARLOTTE, N. C.
    Periods.     Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia. Tennessee. Alabama. New Mexico. California. Various sources. Total.
1838 to 1847 $1,529,777 $143,941 $1,673,718
1848 359,075 11,710 370,785
1849 378,223 12,509 390,732
1850 307,289 13,000 320,289
Total 2,574,364 181,160 2,755,524


4. BRANCH MINT, DAHLONEGA, GEORGIA.
    Periods.     Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia. Tennessee. Alabama. New Mexico. California. Various sources. Total.
1838 to 1847 $64,351 $95,427 $2,978,353 $32,175 $47,711 $3,218,017
1848 5,434 8,151 251,376 2,717 4,075 271,753
1849 4,882 7,323 225,824 2,441 3,661 244,131
1850 4,500 5,700 1,200 204,473 1,800 $30,025 247,698
Total 79,167 116,601 3,456,753 241,806 57,247 30,025 3,981,599


Summary exhibit of the entire deposites of domestic gold at the mint and branches to the close of 1850.

    Mints.     Virginia. North Carolina. South Carolina. Georgia. Tennessee. Alabama. New Mexico. California. Various sources. Total.
Philadelphia $1,198,553 $4,188,592 $504,162 $2,349,225 $35,442 $53,318 $38,963 $37,193,121 $34,707 $45,596,083
New Orleans 741 16,217 39,681 2,719 76,242 5,246,612 7,290 5,389,502
Charlotte 2,574,364 181,160 2,755,524
Dahlonega 79,167 116,601 3,456,753 241,806 57,247 30,025 3,981,599
Aggregate 1,198,553 6,842,864 818,140 5,845,659 279,967 186,807 38,963 42,469,758 41,997 57,722,708