• seperator

Bond changes history

The first part of Voight's surety bond.

The first part of Voight’s surety bond.

By David Finkelstein

As a researcher of the technology, processes, implementation standards and people that worked at the first United States Mint, I have read many publications on a wide variety of Mint-related subjects.

The general belief, without any supporting evidence, has long been that David Rittenhouse (the first director of the Mint) posted the surety bond for Henry Voigt (the first Chief Coiner of the Mint). We now know that David Rittenhouse did not post Voigt’s surety bond. Voigt’s surety bond has been found, stored among Treasury Department documents for the last 221 years. It is being presented in a rare document that references Henry Voigt’s surety bond, therefore I believe that Thomas Jefferson’s statement may have been misinterpreted, resulting in the belief that David Rittenhouse posted Voigt’s surety bond.

The fact is, Henry Voigt’s surety bond was posted on April 4, 1794, by Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, Peter Muhlenberg, Henry Kammerer and Nicholas Lutz.  See Figures 2 and 3. When Voigt’s surety bond was posted:

Henry Voigt’s surety bond: second page with signatures.

Henry Voigt’s surety bond: second page with signatures.

• Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg was the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives,

• Peter Muhlenberg was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania’s at-large district,

• Henry Kammerer was a Philadelphia paper manufacturer, and a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (representing Philadelphia City), and

Announcement of Henry Voigt as Chief Coiner. Gazette of the United States, March 9, 1793.

Announcement of Henry Voigt as Chief Coiner. Gazette of the United States, March 9, 1793.

• Nicholas Lutz was also a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (representing Berks County).

Accurate information regarding Henry Voigt’s surety bond is now correctly documented for future generations of numismatists and numismatic researchers.

References

1. American State Papers; The Mint & Coinage Act of April 2, 1792 and The Alteration of the Mint Act of March 3, 1794.

2. Founders Online; www.founders.archives.gov, The Thomas Jefferson Papers.

3. National Archives and Records Administration; Treasury Department, Records of the Bureau of Accounts.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
>> Subscribe today or get your >> Digital Subscription


More Collecting Resources

• Come on down to the Chicago International Coin Fair in Rosemont, Ill. on April 14 to 17, 2016 to see impressive world coins, meet new collectors and participate in Heritage Auction’s fantastic coin auction.
• Are you a U.S. coin collector? Check out the 2016 U.S. Coin Digest for the most recent coin prices.

This entry was posted in Articles, General News, News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply