Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

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RogerB
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Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by RogerB » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:31 am

This letter to the Superintendent of the Carson Mint will give Morgan dollar collectors a good perspective on the problems faced in manufacturing silver dollars. It also explains why 1879-CC mintage was small.

Another wrinkle for Carson was that the Director ordered that all small deposits of silver bullion were to be paid only in silver dollars made at Carson. This was intended to give small miners a market for their silver and to get coins into circulation.

James Crawford, Esq., Superintendent
U.S. Mint
Carson, Nevada
January 14, 1879

Sir:
Referring to your telegram of the 9th stating that you require an additional supply of silver, I have to state that the department finds great difficulty in procuring silver on satisfactory terms, for delivery at your Mint, notwithstanding the fact that it is located in the principal silver mining region of the country, sellers ask, as a general thing, higher rates for silver to be delivered at Carson that at San Francisco.

In addition to this, the cost of transportation is grater, as is the cost of the necessary supplies which as a matter of fact, increases the expenses of coinage.

The Secretary is of the opinion that the Department would not be justified in paying higher rates for silver for delivery at your Mint, and for transportation of the resulting coins, than from San Francisco, and has therefore decided that purchases of silver for delivery at your Mint will only be made when the price asked is such as will enable the department to pay the additional cost of transportation [of coins] from Carson.

I can assure you that there is no disposition to discriminate against the Carson Mint, but under the law, the Secretary must procure bullion at the lowest market rates; and when it is offered in sufficient quantities to meet our requirements at lower rates for delivery at San Francisco, we would not be justified in paying the increased price asked for delivery at your Mint.

Should the Department be unable to procure sufficient bullion to keep your mint employed, it will be necessary for you to furlough your force until such time as we can procure the necessary supplies of bullion at reasonable rates.
Respectfully,
Robert E. Preston, Acting Director

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CascadeChris
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by CascadeChris » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:09 am

Well if that's not a cool adition to the SF/CC/Silver Barron war story.
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ifthevamzarockin
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by ifthevamzarockin » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:40 am

@RogerB

Welcome to Vamworld! :)
Great info as usual, always enjoy your posts.

RogerB
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by RogerB » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:09 pm

In 1878 the western silver producers tried to force the US Mint to pay higher prices for silver bullion than were normal in the east. Producers wanted the London market rate plus the shipping cost from London to Carson and/or San Francisco. Their collusion did not work.

Secretary of the Treasury insisted on paying a uniform price for bullion and absolutely rejected the "London shipping" demand. Thus, western mints had limited amounts of silver for dollar coinage until the producers gave in during August and September. (The miners had no alternative market for silver bullion. Their expenses continued whether they sold metal or not. The San Francisco Mint had access to silver from its gold refining operation and Mexican pesos.)

vamsterdam
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by vamsterdam » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:03 pm

Thanks for the fun stuff roger.

shortnock
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by shortnock » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:48 pm

Thanks, Roger, always...always good reading, your stuff.
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DHalladay
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by DHalladay » Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:34 pm

Great information Roger; thanks very much for posting it. :D
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PacificWR
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by PacificWR » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:03 am

Good info.

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Longstrider
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Re: Carson Mint - Low production in 1879

Post by Longstrider » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:38 pm

I love reading this stuff. Thanks..🐍

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