Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Tench Coxe, [15 November 1790]

From Tench Coxe

[Philadelphia, November 15, 1790]

Dear Sir

I send you two books & five papers found in the files relative to Mint & coinage1—also the weights of the principal coins of the Nations you mentioned taken from the Bank information. Tomorrow afternoon the Assays are to be made. I have not yet got the copper cost & charges.

I find the old dollar (the best) in Sir I. N.s tables,2 which is 17.12 gr.3 valued at 4/6 would make the Dutch Ducatoon of 20.21 gr.4 worth only 64.414 sterling pence and the new dollars of 17 dwt. 7.8 gr. as by the Bank information makes the ducatoon worth 65.68d—instead of 65.59d.—i.e. ⅙ or ¾ ⅌ Ct.*

You will find enclosed a London Price currt. of last year with the prices of Bullion, coins, & courses of Exchange.5

I am with great respect   Yr affecte. humble Servant

T Coxe

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1There are a number of documents and fragments of documents in the Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress, that deal with coinage and the establishment of a mint. Among them are an undated computation of the cost of copper coinage by James Jarvis, who was awarded the contract for copper coinage by the Continental Congress; an undated discussion, in an unidentified handwriting, of the Continental Congress resolution of August 8, 1786, concerning coinage; and three documents in French dealing with coinage and weights and measures. It has not been possible to identify the enclosures sent to H by Coxe.

2The British Government appointed Isaac Newton master of the mint in 1699. He compiled two sets of tables of foreign coins for the Treasury Board. The first table accompanied a report to the board in 1702, and the second was sent to the board in 1717.

317 pennyweight, 12 grains.

420 pennyweight, 21 grains.

5This and the other enclosures in the letter were for H’s “Report on the Establishment of a Mint,” January 28, 1791.

Authorial notes

[The following note(s) appeared in the margins or otherwise outside the text flow in the original source, and have been moved here for purposes of the digital edition.]

* It may be remarked that the Medium of dollars being (as they are current) more than 17 dwt. 7.8 gr by reason of the several old Kinds, the ducatoon would probably be 65.59 were the medium ascertained.

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