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1855.] FINENESS AND VALUE OF CERTAIN FOREIGN COINS. 917 XXVI. FINENESS AND VALUE OF CERTAIN FOREIGN COINS.
By the acts of Congress of January 25, 1834, and of March 3, 1843, the director of the mint was required to ascertain and report to the Secretary of the Treasury upon the fineness and value of certain foreign coins. Under the requisitions of the provisions of those acts, he made a report to the Secretary under date of January 28, 1854, which report on the 1st of March was sent to the House of Representatives, and is published as House Document No. 68. The report is given below :
“ I submit the following report of the fineness and value of certain for. eign gold and silver coins, as required by the acts of Congress of January 25, 1834, and March 3, 1843; said coins being therein made a legal tender upon certain conditions, which are contingent upon this report.
“Gold Coins. - The law provides that gold coins of Great Britain, not less than 9154 thousandths fine, shall be received at 94.6 cents per penny. weight. In a long series of years, and operating at times upon large quantities of such coin, we have not been able to find a higher average result than 9154, and it was upon this basis that the enactment was framed. But under the present management of the British mint, and of its assay department, beginning fairly with the year 1852, there is an upward tendency more strictly conforining with the legal standard of 9163. The assay of a few pieces of 1852 and 1853 (the course of trade preventing the receipt of large quantities here) gives an average of 916}, and the consequent rato would be 94.7 cents per pennyweight. But it will evidently require a large emission at this rate to make a perceptible improvement in any promiscuous parcel; and some years must elapse before the rate fixed by Congress can be elevated.
“ The gold coins of France are made current at 92.9 cents per penny. weight, provided their fineness be not less than 899 thousandths. Their legal standard is 900 ; but the actual fineness, down to 1852 inclusive, can. not be rated higher than 899.
“ Gold coins of Spain, Mexico, and Colombia, of the fineness of 20 carats, 376 carat grains,' equal to 869.14 thousandths, are receivable at 89.9 cents per pennyweight. While occasionally parcels have been found to be of this fineness, or slightly above it, they are frequently not higher than 866, and would, therefore, appear to be thrown out by the terms of the law. Moreover, the gold coins of New Granada, which is a part of Colombia, have been minted since 1849 at the new legal rate of 900 thousandths, and, upon repeated trials, are found to average 894. But it is very rare to find any longer in circulation a gold coin of Spain, Mexico, or Colombia.
“The gold coins of Portugal and Brazil, made current upon condition of being not less than 22 carats (916f thousandths) fine, are really not higher than 914 thousandths; they are now only known amongst us as curiosities, and it is believed are scarce even in their own country.
“Silver Coins. — The Spanish pillar dollars, and the dollars of Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia, of not less than 897 thousandths fine, and 415 grains in weight, and the dollars of Chili and Central America, and those restamped
in Brazil, of not less fineness than ten ounces fifteen pennyweights in the pound,’ (895.8 thousandths,) and 415 grains in weight, are receivable at one hundred cents each. The present average fineness and value of these coins, as appearing in our circulation, may be stated as in the ensuiug table, with some doubt as to the item of Central America, whose coinage is very irregular.
Spanish pillar dollars, 412
99.7 116.1 Brazilian restamped doll's,
99.7 116.1 Dollar of Mexico, mixed, 4161 899
100.8 116.2 Dollar of Peru, mixed,
101.1 117.0 Dollar of Bolivia,
101.1 116.5 Dollar of Chili,
101.1 116.5 Dollar of Central America, 416
97.5 112.5 6. The five-franc pieces of France, if not less than 900 thousandths fine, and 384 grains in weight, are made current at 93 cents. They continue to maintain this average to the year 1852, which is the latest date assayed here.
“It is to be noted that the foregoing valuations of silver coin are based upon the legal rate of the United States, as fixed by the act of 1837. Under the act of March, 1853, the mint has been and is now paying a premium upon these rates to procure silver for coinage; consequently, the laws making them current may be considered nugatory and obsolete. The same remark, for other but obvious reasons, may be applied to all the gold coins mentioned in this report, except those of Great Britain and France.
“ I embrace this opportunity to suggest that there is no longer any propriety or necessity for legalizing the circulation of the coins of other countries. In no other nation, except in the case of some colonies, is this mixture of currencies admitted by law, either on the score of courtesy or convenience. When these laws as to foreign coins were passed our coinage was inconsiderable, but during the last few years the pieces struck, in number and value, it is believed, are scarcely inferior to that of any other country. The last year more than seventy-six millions of pieces were struck, of the value of upwards of sixty-four millions of dollars. If this suggestion is approved, and the laws which legalize foreign coins be repealed, it would be proper, by a standing regulation of the Treasury Department, or by legislative enactment, to require an annual assay report upon the weight and fineness of such foreign coins as frequently reach our shores, with a view to settle and determine their marketable value. Such a report would be a judicious substitute for the one now presented.”
Government for the Year ending the 1st Wednesday in January, 1855.
Salary. WILLIAM G. CROSBY, of Belfast, Governor (term expires on the first Wednesday in January, 1855),
$1,500 Alden Jackson, of Augusta, Secretary of State,
900 Samuel Cony,
900 Albert Tracy, of Bangor, Adjutant-General,
200 George C. Getchell, of North Anson, Land Agent,
1,000 William Bennett, of Ellsworth, Warden of State Prison, 700 Henry M. Harlow, of Augusta, Sup't of Insane Hospital, 800 William R. Lincoln, of C. Elizabeth, Sup't of State Reform School. James Hovey,
Bank Commissioners. Thomas Jewett, Charles A. Lord, of Portland, Sup't of Common Schools, $ 1,200
[and travelling expenses. Luther S. Moore, of Limerick, President of the Senate, $4 per day. William Trafton, of Alfred, Secretary of the Senate. Noah Smith, Jr. of Calais, Speaker of the House, John J. Perry, of Oxford, Clerk of the House.
Councillors. — William Buxton, of North Yarmouth; Thaddeus Weeks, of Jefferson ; Samuel P. Shaw, of Waterville ; Horatio H. Johnson, of Bel. fast; Theodore C. Woodman, of Bucksport; Charles A. Everett, of Milo; and Gideon Tucker, of Saco.
Supreme Judicial Court.
$1,800 John S. Tenney, of Norridgewock, Justice,
1,800 Joseph Howard, of Portland,
1,800 John Appleton, of Bangor,
1,800 Richard D. Rice, of Augusta,
1,800 Joshua W. Hathaway, of Bangor,
1,800 Jonas Cutting, of Bangor,
1,800 George Evans, of Gardiner, Attorney-General, 1,000 Solyman Heath, of Waterville, Reporter of Decisions, 1,000
The State is divided into three Judicial Districts, denominated the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts; and for the purpose of hearing and determining questions of law and equity, the terms are held for these dis
tricts, instead of being held, as heretofore, in the several counties. These terms are held annually in Portland for the Western, in Augusta for the Middle, and in Bangor for the Eastern District. The other cases are tried, as heretofore, in the several counties where they are commenced.
Municipal and Police Courts. George S. Mulliken, of Augusta; John L. Hodsdon, of Bangor; Jacob Smith, of Bath ; Joseph Williamson, of Belfast; Henry Orr, of Brunswick; George W. Dyer, of Calais; William Palmer, of Gardiner; Samuel K. Gilman, of Hallowell; John H. Williams, of Portland; and John C. Cochran, of Rockland, are Judges at those places respectively. Some are paid by salaries, others by fees.
Counties. Judges. Residences. Androscoggin Nahum Morrill, Auburn Aroostook, Joel Wellington, Monticello, Cumberland, Josiah Peirce,
Gorham, Franklin, Samuel Belcher, Farmington, Hancock,
Parker Tuck, Buksport, Kennebec, Daniel Williams, Augusta, Lincoln, Arnold Blaney, Bristol, Oxford, Timothy Ludden, Norway, Penobscot, Daniel Sanborn, Bangor, Piscalaquis, Ephraim Packard, Blanchard,
Sagadahoc, David Bronson, Bath, Soinerset,
David White, Skowhegan, Waldo, Nath. H. Hubbard, Frankfort, Washington, John C. Talbot, E. Machias, York, (Joseph T Nye, Saco,
160 Z. P. Wentworth, Houlton,
165 950 150 4001 700 650 400 550 125 300 300 300 400 6201
Clerks of the Judicial Courts. Counties. Shire towns. Clerke.
Counties. Shire towns. Clerks. Androscoggin Lewiston, Cyrus Knapp. Penobscot,
N Weston, Jr. Aroostook, Houlton,
B. L. Slaples. Piscataquis, Dover, E. Flint. Cumberland, Portland, Robert A. Bird. Sagadahoc, Bath, George Barron. Franklin, Farmington, Isaac Tyler. Somerset,
Norridgew'k, L. Kidder. Hancock, Ellsworih, Parker W. Perry. Waldo. Belfast,
N. Patterson. Kennebec, Augusta, Wm. M. Stratton. Washington, Machias, Albert G. Lane. Lincoln, Wiscasset,
E. B. Bowman. York, Alfred, J. O. McIntire. Oxford, (Paris, Elisha Winter.
$361,417.57 Balance on hand, January 1, 1853, .
526,865.SO Amount of expenditures from January 1, 1853, to December 31, 1853, 434,361.09 Balance January 1, 1854, .
92,504.71 To be further reduced by existing appropriations,
62,377.59 Leaving a balance for further wants in the Treasury of, .
30.127.12 Beyond the ordinary demands upon the Treasury, there have been paid during the year for the coinpletion of the Insane Hospital and the Reform School, and for the cash payment to Massachusells for her lands, as follows, viz.: – Insane Hospital, $ 24,000; Reform School, $ 18,000; Massachusetts lands, $ 112,500.00; total, $ 154,500. For the lands there were given in addition to the cash, 10 bonds of $ 25,000 each, with coupons attached, bearing 5 per cent. interest, and payable I each year from 1863 to 1872 inclusive.
Principal Items of Expenditure. Pay of the Legislature, $ 44,528.00 School fund, No. 19,
$ 14,645.37 Pay-roll of the Council,
29,429.87 Contingent fund of Executive, 4,393.80 Indian annuities,
221.44 of Treasurer, 1,000.00 Penobscot Indians fund,
6,003.07 of Secretary of State, 200.00 Agricultural products to Indians, 767.65 Salaries, 27,839.05 Militia pensions, .
2,377.00 Clerks in public offices, 5,580.50 Maine Reports,
1,500.00 Rolls of accounts, 12,822.46 Agricultural Societies, .
2,106.04 Printing, binding, and stationery, 5,300.00 Furniture and repairs, State House, 2,950.00 Costs in criminal prosecutions, 25,333.97 Public debt paid,
10,000.00 State Prison, 7,121.00 Interest paid,
42,474.21 Trustees of Insane Hospital, 707.00 Cash,
92,504.71 Insane state paupers, 6,357.61 County Taxes,
5,532.63 Deaf, dumb, and blind, 4,032.50 Fuel and lights,
1,200.00 School fund, Nos. 16 - 18, 418.92 To certain roads,
Chief Sources of Income. State taxes, 191,139.19|Bank dividends,
$ 800.00 County taxes, 5,563.21 Bank tax,
21,703.36 Land Office,
105,017.74 N. E. Boundary reimbursements, 1,851.37 Permanent school fund, 872.72 Interest on loan, .
1,802.04 Duties on commissions, 2,000.00 Miscellaneous items,
2,989.98 Public Debt. - The public funded debt of the State January 1, 1854, was 8711,500. There are besides funds to the amount of $ 257,373.93, held in trust by the State, and for which the State must provide the payment of interest. There are other liabilities for un. paid warrants, &c., to the amount of $63,562.59; total, $1,032,436.52. Resources of the State at the same date other than lands, $ 692,939,90.
Common Schools. — The method of supervision of the schools is again changed. Instead of a Commissioner in each county in the State, there is now appointed by the Governor a Superintendent of common schools for the State, to hold office for three years. His duty is “ to devote his time to the improvement of common schools and the promotion of the gen. eral interests of education in the State." He is to hold annually in each county a teachers' convention, for one week at least, of which he has the charge, and he is to employ suitable instructors and teachers to assist him therein. To defray the expenses of these conventions $ 2,000 are to be appropriated annually.
School Fund. - The permanent school fund is $ 116,946.96. The amount apportioned for the year 1853 was, $ 44,027.89; being bank tax, $ 37,063.44, and interest of school fund, $6,964.45. The number of scholars was 233,736. The amount apportioned since 1833 is $660,317.56. The bank tax for the support of schools is one half of one per cent. on their capital. The apportionment is made ratably among lowns making returns. Towns are obliged by law to raise annually an amount of school money equal to 40 cents for each in. habitant.
BANKS. Liabilities. Dec. 31, 1853. June 3, 1854. Resources. Dec. 31, '53. June 3, '54. Capital stock, $5,913,870 $6,393,370 Specie,
$ 1,132,610 $ 1,163,522 Circulation, 5,317,750 4,623,906 Real estate,
116,842 123,011 Deposits,
2,446,470 3,816,105 Bills of banks in the State, 240,757 388,090 Do. bearing interest, 99,202 164,625 Foreign bills,
124,733 166,589 Due other banks, 136,880 161,592 Bal. due from other banks, 1,581,596 1,681,637 Net profits,
448,886 477,950|Due Banks excepting bal. 11,166,519 12,114,698 In June, 1854, the banks had $ 806,690 of bills in circulation under five dollars. At the last session of the Legislature twelve new banks were incorporated, and the capital stock of twenty-one old banks was increased.