George Washington to David Rittenhouse
[9 July 1792]
Having had under consideration the letter of the Director of the mint of this day’s date, I hereby declare my approbation of the purchase he has made of the house and lot for the mint, of the employment of Mr. Voight as Coiner, of the procuring fifteen tons of copper, and proceeding to coin the cents and half cents of copper and dismes and half dismes of silver: and I leave to his discretion to have such alterations and additions made to the buildings purchased as he shall find necessary, satisfied that under his orders no expence will be incurred which reason and necessity will not justify: and I desire that he will make out an estimate of the sums of money which will be wanting for these purposes, and of the times at which they will be wanting, in order to enable the treasury to make arrangements for furnishing them with convenience. Given under my hand this 9th. day of July 1792.
Dft (DNA: RG 59, MLR); entirely in TJ’s hand except for additions by Tobias Lear at head and foot of text; at head of text: (in TJ’s hand) “United States” and (in Lear’s hand) “of America”; at foot of text in Lear’s hand: “David Rittenhouse Esqr Director of the Mint.” PrC (DLC); lacks Lear’s additions. Recorded in SJPL. Enclosed in TJ to Washington, 9 July 1792.
TJ also sent Washington another draft of similar substance in the form of his own response to Rittenhouse (PrC of Dft in DLC; entirely in TJ’s hand; most of signature torn away; at foot of text: “The Director of the Mint”). Washington, however, decided to use the draft printed here as the basis for his communication to Rittenhouse. His retained copy (FC in Lb in DLC: Washington Papers) contains only minor differences in punctuation.