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plements to be brought from Europe, and these being landed in Virginia as a security that he will proceed, let the State pay for the first necessary purposes then to occur
£1,000 Let it pay him a stipend of £100 a year for the first three years
300 Let it give him a bounty (suppose one-third) on every
yard of woollen cloth equal to good plains, which he shall weave for five years, not exceeding £250 a year (20,000 yards) the four first years, and £200 the fifth 1,200
£2,500 To every workman whom he shall import, let them give, after he shall have worked in the manufactory five years, warrants for
acres of land, and pay the expenses of survey, patents, &c. [This last article is to meet the proposition of the undertaker. I do not like it, because it tends to draw off the manufacturer from his trade. I should better like a premium to him on his continuance in it; as, for instance, that he should be free from State taxes as long as he should carry on his trade.]
The President's intervention seems necessary till the contracts shall be concluded. It is presumed he would not like to be embarrassed afterwards with the details of superintendente. Suppose, in his answer to the Governor of Virginia, he should say that the undertaker being in Europe, more specific propositions cannot be obtained from him in time to be laid before this assembly; that in order to secure to the State the benefits of the establishment, and yet guard them against an unproductive grant of money, he thinks some plan like the preceding one might be proposed to the undertaker.
That as it is not known whether he would accept it exactly in that form, it might disappoint the views of the State were they to prescribe that or any other form rigorously, consequently that a discretionary power must be given to a certain extent.
That he would willingly coöperate with their executive in effecting the contract, and certainly would not conclude it on any terms worse for the State than those before explained, and that the contracts being once concluded, bis distance and other occupations would oblige him to leave the execution open to the Executive of the State.
III. The Report on Copper Coinage, communicated to the House of Representatives, April 15th, 1790.
April 14, 1790. The Secretary of State, to whom was referred, by the House
of Representatives, the letter of John H. Mitchell, reciting certain proposals for supplying the United States with copper coinage, has had the same under consideration, according to instructions, and begs leave to report thereon as follows:
The person who wishes to undertake the supply of a copper coinage, sets forth, that the superiority of his apparatus and process for coining, enables him to furnish a coinage better and cheaper than can be done by any country or person whatever ; that his dies are engraved by the first artist in that line in Europe ; that his apparatus for striking the edge at the same blow with the faces, is new, and singularly ingenious; that he coins by a press on a new principle, and worked by a fire-engine, more regularly than can be done by hand ; that he will deliver any quantity of coin, of any size and device, of pure, unalloyed copper, wrapped in paper and packed in casks, ready for shipping, for fourteen pence sterling the pound.
The Secretary of State has before been apprized, from other sources of information, of the great improvements made by this undertaker, in sundry arts; he is acquainted with the artist who invented the method of striking the edge, and both faces of the coin at one blow; he has seen his process and coins, and sent to the former Congress some specimens of them, with certain offers from him before he entered into the service of the present undertaker, (which specimens he takes the liberty of now submitting to the inspection of the House, as proofs of the superiority of this method of coinage, in gold and silver as well as copper.)
He is, therefore, of opinion, that the undertaker, aided by that artist, and by his own excellent machines, is truly in a condition to furnish coin in a state of higher perfection than has ever yet been issued by any nation; that perfection in the engraving is among the greatest safeguards against counterfeits, because engravers of the first class are few, and elevated by their rank in their art, far above the base and dangerous business of counterfeiting. That the perfection of coins will indeed disappear, after they are for some time worn among other pieces, and especially where the figures are rather faintly relieved, as on those of this artist; yet, their high finishing, while new, is not the less a guard against counterfeits, because these, if carried to any extent, may be ushered into circulation new, also, and consequently, may be compared with genuine coins in the same state ; that, therefore, whenever the United States shall be disposed to have a coin of their own, it will be desirable to aim at this kind of perfection. That this cannot be better effected, than by availing themselves, if possible, of the services of the undertaker, and of this artist, whose excellent methods and machines are said to have abridged, as well as perfected, the operations of coinage. These operations, however, and their expense, being new, and unknown here, he is unable to say whether the price proposed be reasonable or not. He is also uncertain whether, instead of the larger copper coin, the Legislature might not prefer a lighter one of billon, or mixed metal, as is practised, with convenience, by several other nations—a specimen of which kind of coinage is submitted to their inspection.
But the propositions under consideration suppose that the work is to be carried on in a foreign country, and that the implements are to remain the property of the undertaker ; which conditions, in his opinion, render them inadmissible, for these reasons:
Coinage is peculiarly an attribute of sovereignty. To transfer its exercise into another country, is to submit it to another sovereign.
Its transportation across the ocean, besides the ordinary dangers of the sea, would expose it to acts of piracy, by the crews to whom it would be confided, as well as by others apprized
of its passage.
In time of war, it would offer to the enterprises of an enemy, what have been emphatically called the sinews of war.
If the war were with the nation within whose territory the coinage is, the first act of war, or reprisal, might be to arrest this operation, with the implements and materials coined and uncoined, to be used at their discretion.
The reputation and principles of the present undertaker are safeguards against the abuses of a coinage, carried on in a foreign country, where no checks could be provided by the proper sovereign, no regulations established, no police, no guard exercised ; in short, none of the numerous cautions hitherto thought essential at every mint; but in hands less entitled to confidence, these will become dangers. We may be secured, indeed, by proper experiments as to the purity of the coin delivered us according to contract, but we cannot be secured against that which, though less pure, shall be struck in the genuine die, and protected against the vigilance of Government, till it shall have entered into circulation.
We lose the opportunity of calling in and re-coining the clipped money in circulation, or we double our risk by a double transportation.
We lose, in like manner, the resource of coining up our household plate in the instant of great distress.
We lose the means of forming artists to continue the works, when the common accidents of mortality shall have deprived us of those who began them.
In fine, the carrying on a coinage in a foreign country, as far as the Secretary knows, is without example ; and general esample is weighty authority.
He is, therefore, of opinion, on the whole, that a mint, whenever established, should be established at home; that the superiority, the merit, and means of the undertaker, will suggest him as the proper person to be engaged in the establishment and con
duct of a mint, on a scale which, relinquishing nothing in the perfection of the coin, shall be duly proportioned to our purposes.
And, in the meanwhile, he is of opinion the present proposals should be declined.
IV.—Opinion on the question whether the Senate has the right
to negative the grade of persons appointed by the Executive to fill Foreign Missions.
New York, April 24, 1790. The constitution having declared that the President sha!! nominate and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, the President desired my opinion whether the Senate has a right to negative the grade he may think it expedient to use in a foreign mission as well as the person to be appointed.
I think the Senate has no right to negative the grade.
The constitution has divided the powers of government into three branches, Legislative, Executive and Judiciary, lodging each with a distinct magistracy. The Legislative it has given completely to the Senate and House of Representatives. It has declared that the Executive powers shall be vested in the President, submitting special articles of it to a negative by the Senate, and it has vested the Judiciary power in the courts of justice, with certain exceptions also in favor of the Senate.
The transaction of business with foreign nations is Executive altogether. It belongs, then, to the head of that department, except as to such portions of it as are specially submitted to the Senate. Exceptions are to be construed strictly.
The constitution itself indeed has taken care to circumscribe this one within very strict limits ; for it gives the nomination of the foreign agents to the President, the appointments to him and the Senate jointly, and the commissioning to the President.
This analysis calls our attention the strict import of each term. To nominate must be to propose. Appointment seems