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Now that the store is laid out more like a warehouse we are uncovering interesting and unusual items in our collection! We found a group of land deeds from the 1800's. One deed from 1825 sold 2 acres & 123 "perches" (perch = 16.5 feet) of land just outside Philadelphia (Norristown, PA) FOR $1,000. The deed was signed by Levi Pawling, a Federalist member of the 15th US Congress.

We also found an exciting letter dated 1850 from John Fridley. Fridley was a member of the 31st Congress House of Representatives, Pennsylvania 5th district. He was in office 1847 to 1851 as a member of the Whig party. The letter is fully transcribed to the best of my ability below the photos.

The letter shows Fridley's frustration "I have now been in session near four months and as yet have literally done nothing -settled nothing. At the very outset certain Southern Hot-spurs openly declared that the first thing to be settled was the rights of citizens in the slaveholding states under the Constitution."

Keep in mind, this discussion about slavery was 11 years prior to the official start of the Civil War. Whigs generally supported higher tariffs, distributing land revenues to states and passing relief legislation in response to the financial panics of 1837 and 1839. They were not formally an anti-slavery party, but abolitionists had more in common with the Whigs than the pro-slavery Jacksonian Democrats (Jackson was a vocal proponent of slavery and personally owned as many as 161 slaves). As the country hurtled toward Westward expansion, it was the issue of slavery that would be the ultimate downfall of the Whigs. (source: History.com)

As we celebrate Independence Day we feel fortunate to be surrounded with mementos of history. Letters, coins, stamps and so many other items are pieces of our U.S. history that help us remember people and moments that have shaped our country. Have a Happy & Safe 4th of July!

House of Representatives

Washington, July 25the 1850

(Messrs.?) Moore and Hooven


Your favor of the ? came too hard. I must say that the prospect of having anything done at the present session of Congress is, up to this time, not very bright. I have now been in session near four months and as yet have literally done nothing -settled nothing. At the very outset certain Southern Hot-spurs openly declared that the first thing to be settled was the rights of citizens in the slaveholding states under the Constitution.

That this question must first be settled before they would agree to legislate on any other subject. The discussion in both houses to this time have been almost entirely on the Slave question nor does it appear to be (?) determination than it was a minute ago. There is therefore but little chance of knowing the opinion of a feeling of numbers of other subjects.

I have no knowledge of the getting up of any bill in (?) to the Tariff or of any movement towards it. Nor do I consider that under the present agitated states of feeling it would be expedient to force (?) the House such a Bill.

On Monday last, we had a demonstration of the declared intentions of the nullifiers. They showed us that by calling the (?) year and days on a (suspicion of freedom?) motion they could prevent a vote upon any Bill objectionable to them.

I have at this moment read that part of your letter making inquiry as to the probability of a change in the laws the (?) present (?) to Moses Hampton of Pittsburgh who was in the Committee of Ways & Means. His reply is “answer them that there is no chance I have written so to my friends". This is his opinion which I give you for what it is worth. I confess I am inclined to the same opinion.

I am truly yours

John Fridley

(Member of the 31st Congress- Pennsylvania 5th district- in office 1847 to 1851 as a member of the Whig party)

We have listed new Silver Rounds & Coins today! Whether you are looking for a specific type (country) or you just want to collect for the silver value we have many options!

Check out our listings on eBay by clicking this link: https://www.ebay.com/str/bjstampsstore/Bullion/_i.html?_storecat=37208537011 Or if you want something specific that you don't see here, give us a call and let us know what you need!

A gold dollar coin had been proposed several times in the 1830s and 1840s, but was not initially adopted. Congress was finally galvanized into action by the increased supply of bullion caused by the California gold rush, and in 1849 authorized a gold dollar.The Indian Princess Gold Dollar was struck from 1854 to 1889. The coins were struck at five different mint facilities although production would take place almost exclusively at the Philadelphia Mint after the start of the Civil War.

The gold $1 coin was designed by James Barton Longacre. The coins are composed of 1.672 grams of .900 gold (net weight .04837 oz. of pure gold). The first variety (Type I) was a Liberty Head at a diameter of 13mm. Contemporary reviews of the Type 1 design were generally favorable. The New York Weekly Tribune on May 19, 1849 described the new dollar as "undoubtedly the neatest, tiniest, lightest, coin in this country ... it is too delicate and beautiful to pay out for potatoes, and sauerkraut, and salt pork. Oberon might have paid Puck with it for bringing the blossom which bewitched Titania." Willis' Bank Note List stated that "there is no probability of them ever getting into general circulation; they are altogether too small."

Type II has become known as an "Indian Princess Head" because it looks like she is wearing a crown. The reverse featured an  agricultural wreath, composed of corn, cotton, tobacco, and wheat. The denomination “1 Dollar” and date appeared within the wreath. The diameter was increased to 15mm with the same gold weight.

Type III had a redesign of the head becoming known as the "Large Head". (Type II then becoming known as the "Small Head" variety.)

In 1873, the Mint Director advocated limiting striking of gold dollars to depositors who specifically requested it. "The gold dollar is not a convenient coin, on account of its small size, and it suffers more proportionately from abrasion than larger coins." Later that year, the new director, Edward O. Leech, issued a report stating that the gold dollar "is too small for circulation, and ... [is] used almost exclusively for the purposes of ornament".

Love Tokens were a commonly created as jewelry during this time. Often made out of coins in circulation, some Love Tokens were also made out of Gold Indian Princess Head Coins also!

A total of 19,499,337 gold dollars were coined, of which 18,223,438 were struck at Philadelphia, 1,004,000 at New Orleans, 109,138 at Charlotte, 90,232 at San Francisco and 72,529 at Dahlonega. As coin collecting became a widespread pastime in the early 20th century, gold dollars became a popular specialty, a status they retain.

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Fax : 623-412-3456
Email : info@bjstampsandcoins.com

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