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On March 3, 1835, Congress passed 'An Act to Establish Branches of the Mint of the United States.' Section 1 of that Act authorized branches in New Orleans, Charlotte, and Dahlonega, and provided funds for property and facilities: 'Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That branches of the mint of the United States shall be established as follows: one branch at the city of New Orleans for the coinage of gold and silver, one branch at the town of Charlotte, in Mecklinburg county, in the state of North Carolina, for the coinage of gold only, and one branch at or near Dahlonega, in Lumpkin county, in the state of Georgia, also for the coinage of gold only. And for the purpose of purchasing sites, erecting suitable buildings, and completing the necessary combinations of machinery for the several branches aforesaid, the following sums, to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, shall be, and hereby are, appropriated: for the branch at New Orleans, the sum of two hundred thousand dollars, for the branch at Charlotte, fifty thousand dollars, for the branch at Dahlonega, fifty thousand dollars.'
The Act also specified that officers would be appointed, outlined salaries, provided for an oath of office, specified that general direction of the branches would be maintained in Philadelphia, and extended all coinage laws to each of the branches.
Three years passed before the three facilities were completed and ready for coinage. In New Orleans, the first coins issued were half dimes and dimes each dated 1838. The 1838-O half dollars would follow. Quarter dollars and quarter eagles followed in 1839, half eagles in 1840, eagles in 1841, silver dollars in 1846, gold dollars in 1849, double eagles in 1850, a single three cent piece in 1851, and a single three dollar piece in 1854.
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