George Washington Papers

From George Washington to David Rittenhouse, 9 July 1792

To David Rittenhouse

United States of America [Philadelphia, 9 July 1792]

Having had under consideration the letter of the Director of the mint of this day’s date, I hereby declare my approbation of the purchase he has made of the house and lot for the mint. of the employment of mr Voight as Coiner, of the procuring fifteen tons of copper, & proceeding to coin the cents and half cents of copper & dismes & half dismes of silver: and I leave to his discretion to have such alterations and additions made to the buildings purchased as he shall find necessary, satisfied that under his orders no expence will be incurred which reason & necessity will not justify: and I desire that he will make out an estimate of the sums of money which will be wanting for these purposes & of the times at which they will be wanting, in order to enable the treasury to make arrangements for furnishing them with convenience.1 given under my hand this 9th day of July 1792.

Copy, in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

Earlier on 9 July, Jefferson had sent GW “two forms of approbation of the proposals of the Director of the mint, that which would be to be signed by the President himself would probably be most satisfactory to the Director, but might be liable to the objection of drawing the President into the details of business with a greater number of officers of government. this on the other hand would sometimes shorten business. the President will decide and make use of which he pleases” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). The unused version of Jefferson’s draft was written as a response to Rittenhouse from the secretary of state (DLC: Jefferson Papers).

1For Rittenhouse’s “Estimate of immediate Expenditures for the Mint” and the payment of the entire $10,000 as a lump sum, see GW to Alexander Hamilton, 10 July 1792.

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