George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 9 July 1792

To Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] July 9th 1792.

Pray draught a proper answer to the enclosed,1 approving of what the Director of the Mint has done, and is about to do; and requesting an estimate of the money which will be wanted to enable him to proceed in the business of Coining agreeably to what he proposes.

Go: Washington

ALS, DLC: Jefferson Papers.

1The enclosed letter from David Rittenhouse to GW of this date reads: “Tho’ a long continued state of ill health has left me little relish for the usual pursuits of Interest or Ambition, I am nevertheless extremely sensible of the honour you have done me by appointing me, unsollictted, Director of the Mint. Having by the advice of my friends determined to accept that office, for the present, I think it my duty to give every assistance in my power to the business, and have taken the Oath of office required by law.

“On consulting the Secretary of State I find that some of the Officers for the Mint are still expected from Europe. This will occasion further delay, as least as to going generally into Coining. But as small money is very much wanted we think proper, in the mean time, if Your Excellency approves of it, to Coin some Copper Cents & half Cents, and likewise small Silver, at least Dismes & half Dismes. I have purchased, on Account of the United States, a House and Lot which I hope will be found Convenient for the Mint, but considerable alterations must be made, and some small new buildings erected. I have likewise engaged Mr [Henry] Voight to act as Coiner, and he has several workmen now employed in making the necessary Engines, and preparing the Dies. A quantity of Copper will be wanted; perhaps 15 Tons might be sufficient, and Measures for procuring it ought to be immediately taken, and for these several purposes some money will be required.

“I shall be happy in receiving your Excellency’s approbation of these preparatory Steps, together with such further directions as You may think proper to give” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters).

Index Entries