Reasons flying eagle silver dollars were abandonded
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9 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Only a few standard silver dollars using Sully's seated Liberty and Titian Peale's flying eagle were produced for circulation in 1836, 1837 (dated 1836), 1838, and 1839. Here are mint director Patterson's reasons for abandoning the reverse design.

July 5, 1838
Sir.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd, and I send with this mail, a box containing fifty of our new dollars, in compliance with your request. You will perceive that they are of the coinage of 1836, and consequently of the old standard. The coinage of dollars has not been renewed, partly because the coin is not so convenient as the half dollar, and partly because I am not satisfied with the eagle.
[RG104 E-1 box 19 Patterson to Woodbury. The secretary requested an additional 25 coins in a follow-on letter.]

Edited by RWB
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This is a rather curious request amounting to little more than a small bag of coins, not much bigger than the contents of a roll, denied for no more reason than convenience and personal dissatisfaction. There is something at play here beyond insolence and insubordination. Who is the boss, the Secretary of the Treasury or the Director of the Mint?  Suppose it was the President who made the request?  Then what? 🙄  There is more to this than meets the eye.

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9 hours ago, RWB said:

Only a few standard silver dollars using Sully's seated Liberty and Titian Peale's flying eagle were produced for circulation in 1836, 1837 (dated 1836), and 1839. Here are mint director Patterson's reasons for abandoning the reverse design.

July 5, 1838
Sir.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd, and I send with this mail, a box containing fifty of our new dollars, in compliance with your request. You will perceive that they are of the coinage of 1836, and consequently of the old standard. The coinage of dollars has not been renewed, partly because the coin is not so convenient as the half dollar, and partly because I am not satisfied with the eagle.
[RG104 E-1 box 19 Patterson to Woodbury. The secretary requested an additional 25 coins in a follow-on letter.]

Right you are.  The letter reads, in pertinent part:  "...in compliance with your request."  (A drawback of not paying close attention while multi-tasking...) Carry on, sir.

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Yes. Christian Gobrecht did excellent work cutting the matrices and master dies, but he did not design the coin.

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1 hour ago, RWB said:

Yes. Christian Gobrecht did excellent work cutting the matrices and master dies, but he did not design the coin.

My new fact for the day, thanks. 

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2 hours ago, LINCOLNMAN said:

My new fact for the day, thanks. 

The mint director, Patterson, hired artists Thomas Sully and Titian Peale to design obverse and reverse, respectively. It was Patterson who described what he wanted on the coin, so the artists were constrained by those instructions.

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