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Vailen's Blog

24 Jul 2020

Where can I find Acts of Congress for older coins?

| Vailen

I have a question. I want to read the Acts of Congress that authorized specific coins. On the US Mint's web site I found the Acts of Congress going back to the Statehood quarters (1997), but none of the Acts listed on their web site discuss the Sacagawea dollar (2000). I am also looking for much older Acts of Congress for the following coins:


1909 Lincoln Penny

1921 Peace Silver Dollar

1932 Washington Quarter

1938 Jefferson Nickel

1948 Franklin Half Dollar

1946 Roosevelt Dime

1959 Lincoln Penny

1776-1976 Bicentennial Quarter, JFK Half Dollar, & Eisenhower Dollar

1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar

2000 Sacagawea Dollar


The ANA library is closed due to Covid-19 and are unable to assist. Does anyone have ideas where I can find the Actsof Congress that approved the above coins?


Thanks for your help.




Comments

RuralRon

Level 4

Everything they have done back to 1973 is in the Congressional Record. https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record That will have your discussions on the bi-centennials. Having been a professional researcher in the past I would probably try use the "ask a librarian" on https://www.loc.gov/law/ They love hard questions ! When in doubt ask a free pro. The 1774 to to 1875 stuff is available in one of their collections. The site is not secure but being a government website I think it is okay. https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html

Vailen

Level 3

Thanks for your suggestion! Most libraries are currently closed due to Covid-19 but I will check. Finding the official records for the older coins is definitely more challenging even though we can access the Acts of Congress since the 1st Congress in 1789. The specific discussions I am looking for are "buried" in these large documents and not directly indexed. As with most things in life persistence usually pays off. :) I just have to keep looking.

Golfer

Level 5

I would like to read this information myself. I am going to search the sites everyone has listed and read up on this myself. Thanks for bringing up this topic.

Vailen

Level 3

This web site has had everything I am looking for so far: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/statutes-at-large/ I have found some information here: https://www.usmint.gov/learn/history/historical-documents https://nnp.wustl.edu/ The trick is to know what keywords to use when searching. I started Google searches with "public law" in the test. For example: "Sacagawea Public Law" Sometimes your searches will find the specific statute number or which congress passed the law. That information narrows down the search considerably. Another challenge is that the legislation is bundled inside an Act of Congress and, based on the title of the Act or section, there is no "coin," "dollar", "quarter," or other comparable terms. When this happens I download the entire act (a huge file) and then perform word searches within the large file. That strategy works: I am finally finding the legislation. The tricky one will be the 1909 Lincoln penny because the new design did not require new legislation. I will have to find the original legislation sometime prior to 1909 (I have not identified the year yet).

Mike

Level 7

Let me say this. You state you can't find authorization. It's not someone saying it's ok. It's congress.that gives the Treasury the right to make our coinage. . There is a process for this. You must understand the steps it takes to get the right to make coins for our economy. Its a complete process that. designs are made for a certain coin once one is approved it goes to congress for approval. After that two years before the coin is made. Commens Sets the whole nine yards. Sometimes there is a contest for a design. Anniversary coins all need approval.Going back all the way I would think it would be harder to find this information.

Mike

Level 7

Believe me the Treasury department sends the proposed coin to congress. The committee on coinage has to sign a bill giving the treasury departments the ok to make the coin . Otherwise there would be no coins commens . It's by act of congress. Because you can't find the bill does not mean it does not exist. I would try those links that are listed.

Oobie

Level 4

I’m like I. R.; I would like to see the senate discussions in the Flying Eagle cent.

Newman Numismatic portal has everything you could possibly hope for on there. Let us know if you find anything worth mentioning!

Longstrider

Level 6

Turns out the US Mint has all that. https://www.usmint.gov/learn/history/historical-documents

It's Mokie

Level 6

You Da Man, LongStrider.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Kudos Longstrider, I'll check it out!

Vailen

Level 3

I have been reviewing these documents. I have not found any mention for the authorization for the 1909 Lincoln one-cent, for example. My word searches at https://nnp.wustl.edu/ are also not effective. Congress, or a committee of congress, has to authorize coinage and the design. The older coins are proving to be very difficult to find. To my surprise, I have not found any discussion on the 1776-1976 bicentennial coins design, much less the authorization of the new design. Articles that are talking about a new design that has already been approved are not sufficient.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I'm in the same boat. It has gone on the back burner, but I want to read the congressional record and the senate records of discussion of the Flying Eagle Cent so I can write about that, Mike B would be good to consult about that to get strategies on how to find them.

Longstrider

Level 6

Everything and I mean everything you need is at The Newman Numismatic Portal. Here is a link: https://nnp.wustl.edu/ Most likely the best place you can go to. Good luck.

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