Read, and laid upon the table.
To the House of Representatives of the United States:
I herewith transmit a copy of the annual report of the Director of the Mint, at Philadelphia, showing the operations of that institution during the past year; and, also, the progress made towards completion of the branch mints in Notrth Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana.
January 19, 1837.
Mint of the United States,
Philadelphia, January 17, 1837
Sir: In compliance with the law which requires that, “in the month of January of every year, the Director shall make report to the President of the United States of the operations of the Mint and its branches for the year preceding,” I have the honor to submit to you the following statement.
The coinage executed in 1836 period has amounted to $7,764,900, comprising $4,135,700 in gold, $3,606,100 in silver, and $23,100 in copper, and composed of 13,719,333 pieces of coin. (Statement A.)
This amount of coinage is greater, not only in the aggregate, but both as to gold and silver, than of any previous year since the establishment of the Mint. (See annexed table.)
The deposites of gold within the year have amounted, in round numbers, to $4,084,000, (Statement B.) The greater part of this important addition to our metallic currency is due to the wise measure of introducing the payments of the French indemnity in gold. The bullion derived from the mines of the United States was but $467,000. (Statement C.) The exhaustion of the surface and deposite mines, and the very profitable employment of labor in raising cotton at the present prices, are obvious reasons for the diminished production of the gold mines of the Southern States, indicated by the quantity brought to the Mint. Of the immense wealth which these mines contain, there cannot, however, be any doubt; and individuals well informed with regard to them express a perfect confidence that they are destined at a future, and perhaps an early, day, to yield gold in such quantity as to exert an extensive and beneficial influence upon the circulation of the country.
The amount of gold bullion in our vaults, at the end of the year, was $18,306; no part of which was deposited earlier than November 28. The amount of silver remaining uncoined is $306,315; no part of which was deposited earlier than November 18.
In the gold coinage, the proportion of quarter eagles was much greater than in any former year,the number of these pieces being 547,986; while the number struck before this, from the time the Mint was established, was only 309,034.
The coinage of dollars has been intermitted at the Mint since the year 1805, so that the unit of our monetary system was rarely to be met with in circulation. At the close of the last year, this coinage was resumed; and no pains were spared to make the new coin a more creditable speimen of taste and art than the old. I am happy to know that the efforts used for this purpose have met with your approbation.
The last year has been marked by the introduction of important improvements in every department of the Mint.
Changes have been made in the arrangements for assaying, which place this part of our establishment upon a footing with the most perfect in Europe.
For making the ingots, a new system of melting and pouring has been introduced, which, without any increase of labor, will more than double the work that can be done in this department. In the refinery, the process of recovering the silver from its solution, after the separation of gold, has been completely changed, so as to avoid the noxious fumes which attended the old method, to obtain the results much more rapidly, and greatly to reduce the expense. The pulverizing and sifting of the waste-stuff, always heretofore performed by hand, are now, by the introduction of suitable machinery, executed entirely, and much more effectually, by steam power.
Before the last year, the dies were formed only in part from the hub — much work still remaining to be executed by the engraver before they were ready for coining. By a modification of the process lately introduced, the entire impression on the die is transferred by the aid of the press alone; thus, not only saving much unnecessary labor to the engraver, but securing the desirable object of making the dies, for the same denominations of coins, exact fac-similies of one another.
On the 23d of March last, the first steam coinage in America was executed at this Mint; and the performance of the press, in which the power of the lever is substituted for that of the screw, has answered all our expectations. Since that time, all the copper coins have been struck by this press, and it has been lately used with success for coining half dollars. The workmen are now engaged in making other steam presses; and, as these are completed, the coining by human labor will be abandoned, and the work that can be executed in this department of the mint will be greatly increased. The milling of the pieces, heretofore done exclusively by hand, is now, by means of an instrument contrived and made here for that purpose, also executed by the power of the steam engine.
Although much has been thus accomplished, the improvements required at the Mint are still incomplete; and much must yet be done to give to the institution all the efficiency of which it is susceptible. No exertions shall be spared, until this desirable end is attained.
A most important measure, with regard to the Mint, is the recent act of Congress which gives it, for the first time, a complete legal organization. In this act, the recommendations made in my last report, of a mint deposite, and the change of our complicated standards to the simple one of nine-tenths, both for gold and silver, have been adopted.
The appropriation of $200,000 not having been found sufficient to procure the machinery and erect the whole building for the branch mint at New Orleans, contracts were made only for the centre building and one of the wings. The commissioner reports to me that these are, or soon will be, so far completed as to receive the machinery, and admit the operations to be carried on upon a limited scale. It is desirable, however, that the whole building should be finished without delay, and an appropriation has been asked for this purpose. The machinery for this mint has been made here, and, with the exception of the presses, which are nearly completed, has been sent to New Orleans, where it has arrived safely. A contract has been made with a competent engineer for fitting up the whole machinery, including the steam engine, in complete working order.
The buildings for the branch mints at Charlotte and Dahlonega are far advanced, and it is expected that they will be completed in the course of the next spring. Nearly all the machinery for these mints is already finished, and the whole will be forwarded as soon as the buildings are ready to receive it.
Unless some difficulties occur, which I do not foresee, all the branch mints may certainly be put in operation in the course of the present year.
I have the honor to be, sir, With high respect, Your faithful servant,
Director of the Mint.
To the President of the United States.
Statement of the coinage of 1836, at the Mint of the United States.
|Whole number of pieces.|
|Whole number of pieces||13,719,333||7,764,900|
Statement of gold deposites at the Mint in 1836.
|The deposites of gold for coinage amount to||$4,084,000|
|Coins and bullion from Mexico and South America|
|Of which was received from the United States, viz:|
|Coins of the United States of old standard||5,000|
|Coins||and bullion||from England||230,000|
|Do.||do.||from other European States||75,400|
|Do.||do.||from Mexico and South America||124,700|
|Bullion from Africa||8,700|
|Jewellers’ base gold||13,200|
Statement of the annual amounts of deposites of gold, for coinage, from the mines of the United States.
Tabular Statement of the amount of coinage at the Mint,in the several denomiations of coin, from the commencement of its operations until the 31st of December, 1836, inclusive.
|Periods.||Eagles.||Half eagles.||Quarter eagles.||Dollars.||Half dollars.||Quarter dollars.||Dimes.||Half dimes.||Cents.||Half cents.||Pieces of gold.||Value of gold.||Pieces of silver.||Value of silver.||Pieces of copper.||Value of copper.||Whole coinage in pieces.||Whole coinage in value.|