Building of Frigates.

ring in procuring proper vessels to transport the which is worked agreeable to the moulds, and timber, several of those which had made one voy- many of the frames are together, and bolted, and age having encountered such hardships and sick- ready to put into the ship; iwo-thirds of the plank ness as to be deterred from making a second. for outside and ceiling, are received, and about

Nevertheless, under all these embarrassments, one-third for the wales; the remainder is nearly the work is continued, and with the well grounded ready. The beams for the orlop deck are all proexpectation, before expressed, that all the live oak cured and worked, and many of the upper deck timber will be cut and transported to the different beams are likewise worked, and the remainder are ship yards, at furthest, by the next midsummer. expected to arrive daily; a large quantity of live

Details of the quantities of timber and other oak knees have arrived for the security of the materials already provided, and of the progress in decks, and pieces for combings for the hatchways, building, will appear in the annexed schedules. partners for the masts and several other purposes The live oak and white oak timber mentioned, are ready. The masts, bowsprit, yards, and the are generally or wholly moulded and dressed, and other spars are procured, several of which are reready for raising

ceived. The copper necessary for securing the Since draughting the foregoing report, a letter various parts of the ship, and for sheathing the has been received from the chief carpenter em-bottom, is in the public stores. The iron work is ployed in procuring timber in Georgia, presenting now preparing and ready for delivery as fast as a very favorable account of his progress. Two it is wanted. The boiler for boiling the white vessels laden with live oak had recently sailed for oak plank in salt water, to render it durable in the two yards of Philadelphia and Baltimore, and the greatest possible proportion to live oak, is the rest of the timber to complete the frames of completed. All the anchors are procured, and the frigates building at those places, was cut, and the hemp for the cables and materials is now spinready to be shipped. These were the two fri- ning and preparing: All the canvass necessary gates, which, as before mentioned, it was pro- for one suit of sails is in the public stores. The posed first to finish. The chief carpenter adds blocks for the rigging are manufacturing, and a that if he is furnished with vessels fit for the ser- great part are ready for delivery. Kentledge for vice, he will have all the timber in the six yards ballast is all cast and delivered. A contract for in the month of May next, excepting the knees, the trennails has been made, and next month apall of which he thinks cannot be got of live oakpointed for delivery. Bunting for the colors is on The agent who engages the vessels for transport-hand, and a great number of smaller articles for ing the timber has no doubt of procuring timely the hull

, rigging, and equipping the ship, are all that will be wanted for the service.

stored in the public stores. Sail cloth has been provided for one suit of sails for each of the frigates. It was contracted for and manufactured in the United States in the Statement of the progress made in building a frigate year 1794. It has been proposed to procure one

to carry 44 guns, at New York, under the direction kind of foreign cloth, of a superior quality, for

of Mr. Foreman Cheeseman, Naval Constructor, and the second suit ; but the purchase has been sus

Captain Silas Talbot, Superintendent. pended to avoid an expenditure of money until it The keel is completed and laid on the blocks; could be ascertained at what time the cloth would the pieces are scarphed and bolted to each other actually be wanted to equip the frigates. For in the best manner. The stern frame is not yet the like reason, no more hemp has been pur-complete; several transoms are wanting; about chased than will be required for the cordage of one quarter of the live oak timbers for the frame the two frigates, the building of which it was in- of the ship are arrived, all of which are worked tended to advance in preference to the others, and to the moulds. Timber for the gun deck and which it was then hoped would be constructed lower deck beams are received, and the plank for by the close of the next Spring. For the same those decks is ready. The copper and trennails cause the number of anchors which will even- are all in the public stores. The plank for the tually be required, remains incomplete.

outside of the ship as well as the ceiling, are nearly All which is respectfully submitted to the all cut; great part are put into the sea water to House of Representatives of the United States. draw out the sap and to season them. The carl

TIMOTHY PICKERING. ings, ledges, combings for the hatchways and bits, Department Of War, Dec. 12, 1795.

are sawing in the yards. The masts, bowsprit. yards, and spars, are procured and ready for fin

ishing. The kentledge for ballast is all cast and Statement of the progress made in building a frigate at terials is now in hand, and the articles, when fin

delivered, and the iron work for the hull and maof Mr. Joshua Humphreys, Naval Constructor, and ished, are placed in the public stores

. All the Captain John Barry, Superintendent.

necessary contracts are entered into by the agent,

and the articles are daily arriving. The keel is completed and laid on the blocks; N. B. A large schooner with live oak, bound to the pieces are scarphed and bolted to each other New York, was unfortunately lost on Cape Hatin the best manner. The stern frame is complete teras, and every part of the cargo lost. On board and ready for raising; about two-thirds of the of this schooner were many of the principal pieces live oak for the frame is received, nearly all of | of timber necessary for the frame.

Mint of the United States.

Statement of the progress made in building a frigate to the pieces are scarphed and bolted to each other

carry 44 guns, at Boston, under the direction of Mr. in the best manner. The stern frame is not quite George Claghorne, Naval Constructor, and Captain complete. Near two thirds of the live oak timSamuel Nicholson, Superintendent.

ber for framing the ship is arrived ; great part of The keel is completed and laid on the blocks; which is worked to the various moulds, and some the pieces are scarphed and bolted to each other part bolted together in frames, and is ready to go in the best manner. The stern frame is now into the ship. The beams for gun deck and lower completing, and will be soon ready to raise. The deck are received, and are put to season. The stem is also putting together, every part being plank for some of the decks is in the yard, and worked to the moulds. About two thirds of the ready for laying: most of the plank for outside live oak timbers have been received, and are all and ceiling is ready and in the yard. The copworked agreeable to the moulds; great part of per for securing the various parts of the ship tothose timbers are bolted together in frames, and gether, and for sheathing the bottom, is in the are ready to put into the ship; but some of the public stores. The masts, bowsprit, yards, and all principal pieces for the frame have not yet arrived. the other spars, are cut, and ready to be delivered. All the gun deck and lower deck beams are pro- The boats are building; and the bits for the cacured and are ready for delivery, and the plank bles, combings for the hatchways, carlings, ledges, for those decks are received into the yard. The and partners for the masts, are getting out. The plank for outside and ceiling are also received principal part of the iron work is done for the and are now seasoning. The copper is all in the hull, and materials, and all the necessary conpublic stores. The masts, bowsprit, yards, and tracts are entered into by the agents, and the other spars, are all ready for working. The bits stores contracted for are daily arriving. for the cables, combings for the hatchways, partners for the masts, are all ready. The caboose Statement of the progress made in building a frigate with a forge, hearth, armorer's tools, spare cop- to carry 36 guns, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, pers, boilers, &c., are all complete; most of the under the direction of Mr. James Hacket, Naval iron work is in great forwardness; all the neces- Constructor, and Captain James Seaver, Superinsary contracts are entered into by the agent, and

tendent. the articles contracted for are daily arriving. The keel is completed and laid on the blocks ;

the pieces are scarphed and bolted to each other Statement of the progress made in building a frigate to in the best manner. The stern frame is nearly

carry 44 guns, at Norfolk, under the direction of Mr. ready for raising; the principal framing of the Josiah Fox, Naval Constructor, and Captain Richard body of the ship is not yet complete. About twoDale, Superintendent.

thirds of the live oak timber have been delivered The keel is completed and laid on the blocks; into the yard, which is nearly all worked to the the pieces are scarphed and bolted to each other moulds; great part of the timbers are bolted toin the best manner. The stern frame is complete gether in frames, and are ready to go into their and ready for raising; more than two-thirds of proper places. The beams for the gun deck and the live oak for the frame is arrived, which is lower deck are ready, as well as the carlings and worked to the various moulds; great part of the ledges for framing the decks; and the plank for timbers are bolted together in frames, and are those decks are also procured, and great part are ready for raising. The gun deck and lower deck in the yard. The outside plank and the wales beams are all finished and are ready to put into are all cut, and will be ready in a few weeks, as the ship; the plank for the decks is not yet ar- is the ceiling; great part of the plank is already rived. The outside plank, as likewise the ceil- received into the yard, and is now seasoning. ing, are preparing, and some parts have been de- All the copper necessary for securing the various livered; all the copper necessary for securing the parts of the ship together, and for sheathing the various parts of the ship together, and for sheath-bottom, is in the public stores. The masts, bowing the bottom, is in the public stores. The keel- sprit, yards, and the other spars, are delivered by sons, and midship deadwoods, are complete. The the contractors. The bits for the cables, combings masts, bowsprit, yards, and all the other spars, are for the hatchways, partners for the masts, are all cut, and several of them are received at the yard. received and trimmed. Most of the iron work is The carlings, ledges, combings for the hatchways, in great forwardness; and all the necessary conand the partners for the masts, are now in hand. tracts are entered into by the agent, and the artiThe iron work for the hull and materials is nearly cles contracted for are daily arriving. ready. The caboose, with a forge, hearth, armorer's tools, spare coppers, boilers, &c., are complete. All the necessary contracts are entered MINT OF THE UNITED STATES. into by the agent, and the articles contracted for are daily arriving.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Statement of the progress made in building a frigate

December 14, 1795. to carry 36 guns, at Baltimore, under the direction Sir: By the direction of the President of the of Mr. David Stoddert, Naval Constructor, and Cap- United States, I have the honor to enclose, to be tain Thomas Truxtun, Superintendent.

laid before the House of Representatives, the reThe keel is complete and laid on the blocks ; I ports of the late and present Director of the Mint, Mint of the United States. exhibiting the state of that establishment, and show- has been brought to the Mint for coinage has been ing the necessity of some further Legislative pro- below our standard, and required the tedious opevisions to render it more efficient and secure. ration of refining; or the precious metals have

I am, most respectfully, sir, your obedient ser- been brought melted up together, and required the vant,

more tedious operation of separation-operations TIMOTHY PICKERING. which I understand are never performed at any The SPEAKER of the House of Reps.

other Mint, and which the diminutive scale on of the United States.

which ours is formed but illy qualified it to perform. These are some of the difficulties which

occurred. Most of them had been vanquished by Henry William de Saussure's report on the Mint.

the judgment of my able and very respectable preMint Office, October 27, 1795. decessor, whose mechanical genius and powers of Dear Sir: The law establishing this office hav- calculation seem to have been essential to the oring placed it more immediately under your gui-ganization of the establishment. The remainder dance, I deem it a duty to lay a state of its past I have endeavored to subdue; and I am now free operations and actual situation before you at the to say that the Mint, even on its present conmoment of my resigning its direction. The en- tracted scale, if regularly supplied with the preclosed document, marked A, will show the quantity cious metals, of the legal standard, will be adequate of copper which has been coined and sent into to the coinage of $1,500,000 annually in silver, and circulation from the Mint. The whole of this as much in gold; and that a small increase of the coinage was accomplished by my predecessor, Mr. labor and expense will produce an additiou of as Rittenhouse. The enclosed documents, marked much of the copper coinage as will be requisite for B and C, will show the quantity of the precious the use of this country. I venture this assurance metals which have been worked up and coined, upon my view of its operations upon a late depopartly under the direction of Mr. Riitenhouse, and site of silver, vigorously urged for a few weeks. partly under mine-the gold wholly under mine. The gold coinage was carried on at the same time,

It may possibly appear to those who have not to a small amount, and might have been to a much taken pains to inform themselves of the difficulties larger, if there had been any bullion in a state fit to be encountered in the formation of new esta for coinage. All the gold, and almost all the sil Fer, blishments, that little has been done; but a short within a mere trifle, in a state actually fit for imreview of the embarrassments which occurred, mediate coinage, has been coined and delivered. will show that as much has been done as could It will be proper for me to state to you what reasonably be expected in the infancy of this esta- I have before stated to the late Secretary of State blishment. In the first instance, it was exceed- and the present Secretary of the Treasury, that ingly difficult to procure workmen, in any degree there is no copper in the Mint fit for coinage. acquainted with the various kinds of work to be There are, indeed, considerable quantities of clip performed. Indeed, most of the workmen have pings of the copper which are reducible into ingois

, been formed in the Mint, and have only recently andwould, when rolled, be fit for use; but the Mini attained that skill and facility in their several walks is so illy prepared for these operations on that me which practice alone can give, but which is essen- tal, whilst occupied in the coinage of the precious tial to the despatch of business. Much difficulty metals, that it would be advisable for the Governoccurred in obtaining the very tools and imple- ment to apply these clippings,and some other masses ments necessary for the operations of the Mint; of copper in possession of the Mint, to some other and most of them have been prepared under the purposes, and to exchange therefor some of the immediate direction of the officers, and particu- sheet-copper it possesses, or to purchase sheet-coplarly Mr. Voight, the Coiner.

per for the coinage. The price of copper having Great delays were incurred in obtaining the risen considerably, from causes which it is said heavy iron work, particularly the rollers; and these will be operative for some length of time, if not were not always fit for use, when obtained. Those permanently, it has been suggested that it would which are now in use being almost worn out, I be useful to diminish the weight of the cent as the have been striving in vain to replace them with copper would thereby be brought nearer to its prothe fine Andover iron.

portionate value to silver, and might prevent its One unsuccessful attempt has been made for us being worked up by the coppersmiths. The las at an air furnace; and it yet remains to be tried, seems to have contemplated the possibility of such if it can be accomplished without recurring to the an arrangement being proper, by giving you the tedious and expensive method of making them of power to make the alteration. wrought iron, converted into steel.

It is important to inform you of what I have More than once, as I have been informed, the before mentioned to the Heads of Departments operations have been suspended for want of dies, above-named, that the standard of silver coin, in which the industry of the engraver could not sup- use at the Mint, differs from the standard fixed by ply fast enough for the presses. A happier selec- law. The law establishing the Mint, fixes that tion of steel, aided by more skill in hardening the the silver coinage should contain 1,485 parts of fine dies, has remedied this evil, and the engraver is silver to 179 parts alloy; or ten ounces, fourteen now enabled to supply the Mint with dies of every pennyweights, five grains, of fine silver, to one kind in advance. To these causes of delay must ounce, live pennyweights, nineteen grains, alloy. be added, that the greatest part of the bullion which Before any operations commenced under this Mint of the United States. law, it was supposed, by the best informed men, the Assayer, if that measure should become necesthat this standard was too low-would debase the sary. The time of his engagement with Mr. Pinckcoin too much-and was inconvenient in other ney has almost expired, and he is forming works, respects; and it was presumed that an alteration in connexion with other persons, for carrying on would be made, which was recommended by its business on his private account. Probably he may propriety and correctness. The alteration con- not choose to remain in the public service at the templated went to the establishment of a standard expiration of that time. Possibly it might be inexwhich required that nine parts in ten should be pedient to allow the Assayer of the Mint to be fine silver, the other tenth alloy; or ten ounces, connected in the works which bear some relation sixteen pennyweights fine, to one ounce, four pen- to the coinage, or to the preparation of the metals nyweights alloy, in the pound troy. Upon the for coinage-at least some check should be propresumption of such an alteration, I understand the vided. coinage was commenced in October, 1794, and the Permit me to suggest that it might be useful to matter was submitted in the winter to a commit-publish a short statement of the operations of the tee of Congress, who reported on the propriety of Mint, and of its actual prepared state to carry on the alteration. By some means, that part of the the coinage of the precious metals to a considerreport on the Mint which related to the standard, able amount. It might satisfy the public mind, after passing one branch of the Legislature, did not and might also lead to the production of considerpass the other. Still, however, the coinage was able quantities of bullion, which are said to be in continued on the principle it was commenced. the hands of individuals in the United States, who It being represented to me, when, soon after my are unadvised of the facility and certainty with coming into office, I observed the fact, that some which they may now have bullion coined. mistake alone had prevented the change by the I must intreat your pardon for intruding so long Legislature, I did not feel myself qualified to alter on your time. It appeared to me important to lay the standard which I found in use in the Mint, this information before you. under the weighty sanctions of Mr. Ritten house's I am now prepared to deliver up the direction authority, and the report of a committee of the of the Mint to my successor. It only remains for Legislature. I am thus particular in stating this me to thank you, in all sincerity, for your confibusiness

, as it is of high importance that the law dence in the unsolicited bestowal of this office on should be altered, or that the standard should be me, and to assure you that I have endeavored to accommodated to the law.

deserve it. Allow me to hope that you will be Permit me, sir, to suggest the necessity of pro- persuaded that I am, sir, with the truest and most tecting the laws for the coinage. I understand that affectionate attachment and respect, your obedient none of the laws of Congress have provided any servant, penalties for the various offences which may be

HENRY WM. DE SAUSSURE. committed against the coinage. In most countries The PRESIDENT of the United States. strict laws are enacted, prohibiting the interference of individuals in this attribute of sovereignty; and in some, the very possession of dies or The DIRECTOR OF THE Mint, in obedience to the Presipresses, or other implements essential in the coin- dent's commands, makes the following Report relative age, is made criminal. In this country, Mints are

to the Mint of the United States, hoping that the short said to be boldly erected in Baltimore and else- time of one month which he has had to make himself where, professedly to imitate the coins of foreign acquainted with the present state of it, will apologize countries, and to furnish a debased gold coin for for any inaccuracies that appear therein: the West India markets; and much of the gold On entering on this service, the Director found bullion which would be brought to the National that the united exertions of the several officers had Mint is carried to these private establishments, been engaged to complete as many coins of the which degrade our national character. Encour- precious metals as circumstances would permit. aged by this negligence of Government, men have by which the state of their accounts relative to carried their ideas further; and there is but too deposites had been delayed. It became a prudent much reason to fear that a recent attempt on the measure, on the part of the new Director, and one dies and other implements was made with nefari- absolutely necessary to the future conducting the ous views.

department with propriety, to insist on an immeAmongst the unpleasant circumstances which diate close of all accounts relative to the precious attend the contracted scale on which the Mint has metals, from the first establishment of the Mint. been erected, there is one of very serious import. The many difficulties attending this process put The owner of a small lot adjoining the Mint has a stop to any further coinage, excepting as to what a right of passage through the interior of the lots was then in hand. The accounts of those metals of the Mint. This exposes the works to improper are now nearly brought up, and in a few days will intrusion, and prevents that complete control over be finished. the workmen which is essential to the well-order- Every previous step was preparing for a vigoring of the business. A small sum of money would ous and systematic renewal of the coinage, when have purchased that lot some time ago. I believe the sudden and unexpected death of the Assayer, it may still be had reasonably.

(Mr. Albion Cox,) on Friday last, by an apoplectic I feel it a duty to warn the Government of the fit, deprived the Mint of an intelligent officer, essenpropriety of putting itself in a situation to replace tially necessary to the future progress in the coinMint of the United States.

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age of the precious metals. Until this officer is the Mint being allowed, by himself or in company replaced the business at the Mint must be confined with others, to be concerned, directly or indirectly, to striking cents only.

in the works of a similar nature on their private The Director has endeavored to avail himself account, or in any such works wherein metals are of the temporary cessation of full business to pre-melted, refined, rolled, or otherwise prepared, so pare a system of rules for conducting the Mint in as to be fit for coining: future, in all its branches, which shall be reported To remedy some of these evils, it would be a to the President in a few days, and which will be measure highly advantageous to the United States, hereafter carried into execution, if it should meet and very beneficial to depositors, if some proper with the President's approbation. Future experi- person was authorized to purchase, on public acence will improve it, by such additions and alter- count, all small quantities of silver and gold brought ations as practice will discover to be necessary. to the Mint, at the best market price, to be coined

The issues of the Mint, from its first establish- for the public Treasury. ment to this day, as collected from the Register It has been the opinion of former officers of the kept for that purpose, consist of

Mint that the legal standard for silver should be Eagles


reconsidered; and the Director, on coming into Half-eagles


office, found that, for some special reasons, the Dollars


standard of coins heretofore completed varied in a Half-dollars

323,144 small degree from that established by law. WhatHalf-dimes

86,416 ever force those reasons may have with the LeCents

1,066,033 gislature, the Director did not think himself justiHalf-cents


fiable in permitting so important a measure to be

continued without the Legislative sanction. He Total in dollars

453,541 80

has therefore issued orders that, in future, the preThere are not, to the knowledge of the Director, cise terms of the act of Congress in this respect any protecting laws yet enacted, securing the coin- should be observed ; but as the coinage is at preage by proper penalties against those (other than sent in a state of suspense, it may be a proper time persons concerned in the Mint) who may coun- to review the alloy directed by law, as the alteraterfeit, debase, clip, or otherwise lessen the value tion, if found necessary, could now be adopted thereof, with intent to defraud.

without injury to any one: The interference of individuals with so neces- The act of Congress directs that the alloy of gold sary a branch of the Executive Government as shall be of silver and copper, not exceeding half that of coining money, by setting upcoining-presses silver. The practice at the Mint has been to form for imitating foreign coins, should be prevented by the alloy of copper, with the smallest portion of law, if either the national honor or the success of silver, so as barely to comply with the words of the Mint are to be objects of public attention. the law. The silver contained in the alloy is an The one is injured in foreigners being imposed entire loss to everybody, without answering the upon by an imitation of foreign coins of a reduced least valuable purpose. It is said not to mix so weight, and perhaps wanting in standard purity; intimately and freely with gold as copper does, the other may be deprived of all the bullion thus neither will it equally add to the hardness of the wrought up at these irregular presses.

coin; at the same time it is a heavy increase of The stealing of the dies, hubs, milling-stamps, the annual expenses of the Mint. This regulation screws, presses, or other instruments used in the of part silver in the alloy of gold, it is said, may coinage, as well as the taking, receiving, adulter- be repealed with great propriety. ating, or secreting the metals kept in or belonging These appear to the Director to be the principal to the Mint, call for special provision from the points relative to the Mint, demanding the PresiLegislature of the United States. The Director dent's immediate attention. As to the practice in is sorry to say that these observations are justified detail, whatever has been found by experience to by facts that have already happened at the Mint. need checks or alterations, and has come to the The laws of the several States are not particu- Director's knowledge, and which he could remedy larly adapted to these objects, so as to guard against without troubling the President, he has endeathese evils-a Mint never having been taken into vored to incorporate into the system of rules heretheir contemplation.

inbefore referred to. This opportunity ought not to be lost, of urging All which are respectfully submitted. the propriety of prohibitory laws against any per

ELIA'S BOUDINOT, Director, sons concerned in the Mint, either us an officer or MINT OF THE UNITED STATES, workman, being engaged directly or indirectly in

December 3, 1795. buying or selling of bullion, gold, or silver, or a mixture of either with other metals, on his or their private account. The checks provided for secu

A.-A statement of the species and value of rity against imposition will be in vain, if the pro, Coiner of the Mint, to September 30, 1794, as ap

copper coin delivered at sundry times by the Chief perty of the precious metals assayed and coined at the Mint may be vested in the persons who

have pears

by the books of the Treasurer of the Mint. the charge thereof, in its passage through the Mint. Cents

908,012 The same reasoning will equally show the im


- 116,934 propriety of any officer or workman engaged in Value in dollars

- 9,664 79

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