George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 20 March 1793

To Thomas Jefferson

United States [Philadelphia] March 20th 1793


I have to request that it may be given in charge to the director of the mint, to take measures for collecting samples of foreign coins issued in the Year 1792, of the species which usually circulate within the United States, to examine by assays at the mint whether the same are conformable to the respective standards required, and to report the result, that the same may be made known by proclamation1—agreeably to the Act entitled “An Act regulating foreign Coins, and for other purposes.”2

Go: Washington

LS, in Tobias Lear’s writing, DLC: Jefferson Papers; copy, in Lear’s writing, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DNA: RG 59, George Washington’s Correspondence with His Secretaries of State; LB (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1GW sent this letter in response to an earlier letter of this date from Jefferson, in which Jefferson wrote: “that the Departments being instituted to relieve the President from the details of execution, it will be sufficient that the directions go from the head of the department, the President’s approbation being known. they shall accordingly be given” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters). Jefferson’s letter to GW was an answer to Tobias Lear’s note to him of 19 March. For the assay of foreign coins, as well as GW’s involvement in the activities of the U.S. Mint, see Jefferson to GW, 10 Mar. 1793 (second letter), and note 1. On 21 Mar., Jefferson wrote to David Rittenhouse, the director of the mint, telling him that he had “the approbation of the President” to collect and examine all foreign coins minted in the year 1792 (Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 25:423). No presidential proclamation regarding the assaying of these coins has been found.

2See 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 300–301.

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