George Washington Papers
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Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson, 21 August 1793

Tobias Lear to Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] August 21st 1793

By the President’s command T. Lear has the honor to inform the Secretary of State, that the President has intended several times, when he has seen the Secretary latterly, to have mentioned his opinion respecting Mr Albion Coxe’s wages; but some other subject being introduced put it out of his mind. He now informs the Secretary, that it is his opinion, that Mr Coxe should be paid wages for the time he has been employed in the Mint, and so long as he shall continue to be employed (’till he shall have qualified himself) equal to the Salary allowed by law for the Assayor.1

The President likewise informs the Secretary, that the sum of one thousand dollars will be furnished from the Treasury Department to commence a coinage at the mint—and if any agency of the President is necessary for drawing the said sum from the Treasury he will thank the Secretary to mention to him in what way it is so necessary that he may do it accordingly.2

The President has understood that Mr Voight the Chief Coiner, has not yet qualified himself by giving security agreeably to the law. If this be the case, the President wishes the Secretary to consider how far it would be proper to permit a coinage to be commenced.3

Tobias Lear

234 Sea Letters or Passports signed by the President are sent to the Office of the Secretary of State by the bearer hereof4—and three large packets—one Addressed to the Consul of France—one to the Director of the ports at Martinique—and one to the Director of the Ports at the Cape—which came under cover to the President from the Post Office.5

ALS, DLC: Jefferson Papers; ALS (letterpress copy), DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State.

1On Albion Cox’s wages as the temporary assayer of the U.S. Mint and for the law governing those wages, see Jefferson to GW, 15 Aug. 1793, and note 1.

2On the U.S. Mint’s need for a thousand dollars, see Jefferson to GW, 15 Aug. 1793.

3For Henry Voight’s appointment as the chief coiner for the U.S. Mint, see his letter to GW, of 13 April 1792, and notes, and Jefferson to GW, 16 Nov. 1792, and note 1. According to Section 5 of “An Act establishing a Mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States,” 2 April 1792, the “assayer, chief coiner and treasurer, previously to entering upon the execution of their respective offices, shall each become bound to the United States of America, with one or more sureties to the satisfaction of the Secretary of the Treasury, in the sum of ten thousand dollars, with condition for the faithful and diligent performance of the duties of his office” (1 Stat description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends ., 247). For Jefferson’s reply, see his first letter to GW of 30 Dec. 1793.

4According to GW’s executive journal, he signed the 234 passports on 20 Aug. 1793 (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 226). The letter-book copy erroneously reads “834.”

5The enclosed packets addressed to Edmond Genet, Minister Plenipotentiary and Consul General, and to the directors of the ports on the French island of Martinique and at Cap Français on the French island of Saint Dominigue have not been identified.

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