George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Hall, 19 April 1792

From John Hall

Philada 19 April 1792.

May it please the President

By the Law for establishing a Mint of The United States I find a Treasurer will be requisite.1

I am encouraged by Several of my friends to apply to your Excellency for that appointment and would beg leave to refer to their recommendations for my sufficiency to fullfil the duties of the office.2 For myself I can only promise my best exertions, diligence & fidelity, should I be so happy as to be honoured with the appointment, and am with the greatest respect, Yr Excellency’s Mo. Obt hble Servt

Jno. Hall.


The writer of this letter was probably John Hall (1729–1797) of The Vineyard in Anne Arundel County, Md., a lawyer, slaveholder, and landowner. He served as a delegate to the Continental Congress in 1775, in the lower house of the Maryland legislature 1762–85, and in the state senate 1786–96.

1For “An Act establishing a Mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States,” which GW signed on 2 April, see William McCrea to GW, 27 Mar. 1792, n.1. Section 3 of the law states that “The Treasurer shall receive from the Chief Coiner all the coins which shall have been struck, and shall pay or deliver them to the persons respectively to whom the same ought to be paid or delivered: he shall moreover receive and safely keep all monies which shall be for the use, maintenance and support of the mint, and shall disburse the same upon warrants signed by the Director.” The treasurer of the Mint was to receive an annual salary of $1,200 and was to be bonded for $10,000 (see 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 246–51).

2GW received two certificates recommending Hall. The first was signed in Philadelphia on 18 April by Thomas Hartley, William Vans Murray, William Findley, Joshua Seney, and others; the second, dated at Philadelphia on 19 April, was signed by Thomas McKean, Clement Biddle, and others (both in DLC:GW). GW nominated Tristram Dalton treasurer of the U.S. Mint, not Hall (see GW to the U.S. Senate, 3 May [second letter]).

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