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Ordinance by the Continental Congress concerning the establishment of a mint
United States
October 16, 1786
Volume 18, Pages 764-767

AN ORDINANCE FOR ESTABLISHING A MINT.
[From Executive Letter Book.]

October 16th, 1786.

An Ordinance for Establishing the Mint of the United States of America and for regulating the Value and Alloy of Coin.

It is hereby Ordained by the United States in Congress Assembled that a Mint be established for the coinage of Gold, Silver and Copper Money, Agreeably to the Resolves of Congress of the 8th of August last, under the direction of the following Officers, viz.:

An Assay Master whose duty it shall be to receive Gold and Silver

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in Bullion, or Foreign Coin, to assay the same, and to give his Certificates for the value thereof at the following Rates:

For every pound troy weight of uncoined Gold, or Foreign Gold coin, eleven parts fine and one part alloy, two hundred and nine dollars seven dimes and seven cents, Money of the United States, as established by the Resolves of Congress of the 8th of August last, and so in proportion to the fine Gold contained in any coined or uncoined Gold, whatsoever.

For every pound troy weight of uncoined Silver, or Foreign Silver Coin, eleven parts fine and one part alloy, thirteen dollars seven dimes seven cents and seven Mills, money of the United States established as aforesaid; and so in proportion to the Fine Silver contained in any coined or uncoined Silver, whatsoever.

A Master Coiner whose duty it shall be to receive from time to time of the Assay Master the bullion necessary for Coinage; to report to Congress devices and Proof of the proposed pieces of Coin and to procure proper workmen to execute the Business of Coinage, reporting from time to time to the Commissioners of the Board of Treasury of the United States for Approbation and Allowance the occupation, number and pay of the persons so employed.

A Pay Master who shall be the Treasurer for the United States for the time being, whose duty it shall be to receive and take charge of the Coin made under the direction of the Master Coiner and to receipt for the same; to receive and duly enter the Certificates for uncoined Gold or Silver issued by the Assay Master, and to pay Ninety-five hundredths of the Amount thereof in Gold or Silver and five hundredths in the Copper Coin of the United States. And it is hereby further ordained that the Certificates to be given by the Assay Master to persons who shall lodge Gold or Silver in the Mint for coinage, shall be on fine Bank paper, and expressed in the following Manner and form to-wit:


Mint of the United States.

I acknowledge to have received of A. B. for Coinage (here insert the weight) of (insert the Specie) bullion, for the amount of which pay to ——— ——— or Bearer the Sum of ——— at ten days sight, Agreeable to the Custom of the Mint.

C. D., Assay Master.
To E. F., Pay Master of the Mint of the United States of America.
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And it is hereby further Ordained that the Officers above Mentioned, shall Settle their Accounts monthly Agreeably to such forms and Vouchers as shall be prescribed by the Comptroller of the Treasury.

And it is hereby further Ordained, That the Officers shall enter into Bonds to the United States in Congress Assembled for the faithful Execution of the trust respectively reposed in them in the manner and amount following, viz:

The Assay Master in the Sum of ten thousand Dollars, and two Securities each in the Sum of 5,000 Dollars.

The Master Coiner in the Sum of 10,000 Dollars and two Securities each in the Sum of 5,000 Dollars.

And that the affairs mentioned in this Ordinance as well as every other person employed in the Mint shall take and subscribe the Oath of Office, established by the Resolve of the 14th March, 1786.

And it is hereby further Ordained, That it shall be the duty of the Comptroller of the Treasury to Report monthly to the Commissioners of the Treasury of the United States, a statement of the Mint Accounts adjusted agreeably to the usual forms. And if on such Statement, or other information, it shall appear that there has been any Neglect, Mismanagement or Abuse of Trust, in any of the Officers mentioned in the within Ordinance, it shall be the Duty of the Commissioner of the Board of Treasury to suspend such Officer or Officers, and to Report thereon Specially to Congress.

And it is hereby further Ordained, That the Copper coin struck under the Authority of the United States in Congress Assembled, shall be receivable in all Taxes or payments due to the United States in the proportion of five dollars for every hundred dollars so paid; but that no other Copper coin, whatsoever, shall be receivable in Taxes or payments whatsoever to the United States.

And whereas, The great Quantities of base Copper coin daily imported into or manufactured in the several States, has become so highly injurious to the Interest and Commerce of the same as to require the immediate interposition of the powers, vested by the Confederation in the United States in Congress Assembled, of regulating the Value of Copper, the coin so current, as aforesaid.

It is here by Ordained, That no Foreign Copper Coin whatsoever, shall after the first day of September, 1787, be current within the United States. And that no Copper coin struck under the Authority

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of a particular State shall pass at a greater Value than one Federal Dollar for two pounds and a quarter of a pound Avoirdupois weight on such Copper coin.

Done by the United States in Congress Assembled, this 16th day of October Anno Domini, 1786, and of our Sovereignty and Independence the Eleventh.

CHAS THOMSON, Sec'ty.