Proposal to remove legal tender status from 1861-O coins.
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“…Proclamation by the President or by Act of Congress…that the coins of the Branch Mint at New Orleans of the year 1861 are not of the coinage of the United States, and are therefore not a legal tender in the payment of debt. Said coins are designated by the letter O on the reverse of each piece.”

 

[Excerpt from letter February 18, 1861 by Director of the Mint to Secretary of the Treasury. RG104 E-216 vol 21. Suggestion rejected as cause for confusion.]

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Why was this proposed? Was it a reaction to the South taking the mint and the North didn’t want the coins they minted to be legal tender (similar to the Hawaii notes)? I don’t know if these timeframes line up though.

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I have two 1861 O Half Dollars, graded by NGC, one is 'Louisiana Issue' the other is 'Confederate States Issue'.  Very interesting; was Louisiana considered it's own 'Territory'?

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Louisiana's "Ordnance of Secession" was adopted January 29, 1861. The State of Louisiana claimed the New Orleans Mint and continued operating it. The mint director felt that since the coins were not made by the United States, they were not legal tender. Treasury Secretary John A. Dix disagreed.

 

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On 5/11/2022 at 5:18 PM, RWB said:

The State of Louisiana claimed the New Orleans Mint and continued operating it.

Would that be the 'Republic of Louisiana' as  it neither belonged to the United States or the Confederate States?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/11/2022 at 5:40 PM, Alex in PA. said:

Would that be the 'Republic of Louisiana' as  it neither belonged to the United States or the Confederate States?

No, it was called the "State of Louisiana." (No one had invented "Peoples' Socialist Republic of Louisiana" or "Slave Owners' Socialist Republic".)

Edited by RWB
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On 5/11/2022 at 8:09 PM, Hoghead515 said:

That would be a great topic to discuss in FMTM 2. Theres many questions rattling around my mind right now 

Maybe more of "A History of the Mints of the United States". I do like how FMTM stays more focused on the mints themselves and not the surrounding events, but a book that combines them could be fantastic... I like the idea Hoghead!

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On 5/11/2022 at 10:09 PM, Hoghead515 said:

That would be a great topic to discuss in FMTM 2. Theres many questions rattling around my mind right now 

I added it to the subject list for FMTM-2

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On 5/12/2022 at 7:48 AM, zadok said:

...u need to be careful there my friend, i dont want too many things rattling around in ur head at the same time u need save some thought on being able to blowing out all those bday candles on Sunday....but the 1861-0 liberty seated half does make for interesting discussions n collecting opportunities...minted under 3 different minting authorities; USA, State of LA, CSA...only minted for approx 4 months, 15 known die pairings...lends itself for a mini-collection all by itself...while those coins issued under the CSA garner most of the attention, those issued under the USA r far scarcer...and to further compound the collecting arena there r the 1861-0 coins discovered in the salvage of the SS Republic shipwreck....enuf to make a grown man's head truly rattle....

Very interesting information my friend. Im also surely ready to blow those candles out. Im planning on going to the river and try to catch a big flathead Saturday night. I talked the old lady into going with me. If I dont have to work Saturday. 

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The historical key to remember here is that under the Constitution the states could not issue money other than silver or gold, but the Confederacy was never under such restrictions. Those states routinely issued scrip. 

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

My example of the 1861-O half dollar is one that Bill Bugert's book identifies as a Louisiana-struck piece, though it's not so noted on the holder. It seems that any example of this issue is a coin with an interesting back story, and that's why I wanted a nice, original one. In addition to having been coined under three flags at different times, the 1861-O half was also widely represented among the thousands of coins recovered from the wreck of Central America some years ago.

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Posted (edited)

Were the Republic sea-damaged 1861-Os identified by Federal, Louisiana or Confederacy manufacture? How did the halves end up in NYC for shipment?

Edited by RWB
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The Rep 1865

SSCA sank on September 12th 1857 did have a few NO silver halves from the 1850’s onboard primarily from the 1850’s

 

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Ah, now it makes sense -- wreck of the SS Republic on October 25, 1865.

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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

Yes, I meant Republic and not Central America.

During the mass conservation and grading of those coins NGC did label many by the period of their coining. This was a one-time service to the submitter and is not offered now.

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