James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Robert Patterson, 6 March 1816

Mint of the U. States March 6th. 1816


The ordinary repairs of the Mint, the director has considered himself as authorized to make, from the annual appropriations for that purpose without troubling the President with repeated applications for his sanction. But the repairs which the late fire has now rendered necessary, being so considerable, I would not venture to undertake, without your approbation; which is, therefore Sir, most respectfully solicited.

No estimate of the expences or time necessary for these repairs, can, at present, be made, with any degree of accuracy:; but, it is believed, that the balances of the two last years appropriations, not yet carried to the surplus fund, together with that for the present year, will be more than sufficient; & that the whole may be accomplished in eight or ten months from the time of commencement.

In truth, except the mere building, which was ill-constructed, & of little value, no great loss has been sustained by the fire. The principal parts of the machinery were, in fact, nearly worn out;, & must have been replaced in a short time, tho’ no such accident had occurred.

The only difficulty, at present foreseen, will be in procuring rollers; two or three pair of which will be wanted. These can, I believe, be best obtained thro’ the agency of Mr. Bout of Soho, the gentleman who has for many years supplied the mint with copper: but in answer to a letter which I addressed to him some years ago, on the subject of rollers, he informed me, that they were among the articles which could not be exported without obtaining permission from the Government; this, however, might probably be effected thro the application of our Minister at London. I have the honour to be, Sir with the greatest respect & esteem, Your most obedt. Servt

R. Patterson

DNA: RG 59—ML—Miscellaneous Letters.

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