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Benjamin Franklin Peale (born Aldrovand Peale; October 15, 1795 May 5, 1870), us ually Franklin Peale, was an employee

and officer of the Philadelphia Mint from 1833 to 1854. Although Peale introduced many innovations to the Mint of the Unit ed States, he was eventually dismissed amid allegations he had used his position for personal gain. Peale was the son of painter Charles Willson Peale, and was born in the museum o f curiosities that his father ran in Philadelphia. For the most part, Franklin P eale's education was informal, though he took some classes at the University of Pennsylvania. He became adept in machine making. In 1820, he became an assistant to his father at the museum, and managed it after Charles Peale's death in 1827 . In 1833, Peale was hired by the Mint, and was sent for two years to Europe to st udy and report back on coining techniques. He returned with plans for improvemen t, and designed the first steam-powered coinage press in the United States, inst alled in 1836. Peale was made Melter and Refiner of the Philadelphia Mint that y ear, and Chief Coiner three years later upon the retirement of the incumbent, Ad am Eckfeldt, who continued in his work without pay. Eckfeldt's labor allowed Pea le to run a medal business using Mint property. This sideline eventually caused Peale's downfall: conflicts with Engraver James B. Longacre and Melter and Refin er Richard Sears McCulloh led to Peale being accused of misconduct, and he was d ismissed by President Franklin Pierce in 1854. In retirement, Peale continued his involvement in and leadership of many civic o rganizations; he died in 1870. Numismatic author Q. David Bowers suggests that t he facts of Peale's career allow writers to draw very different conclusions abou t him. Contents [hide] 1 Early life 2 Mint employee and officer (1833 1854) 2.1 Hiring and Europe tour 2.2 Melter and Refiner 2.3 Chief Coiner 2.3.1 Appointment and early years 2.3.2 Conflict with Longacre 2.3.3 Downfall 3 Later years, death, and assessment 4 References and sources Early life[edit] Benjamin Franklin Peale was born October 15, 1795, to painter Charles Willson Pe ale and his second wife, the former Elizabeth de Peyster. As well as pursuing hi s art, Charles Peale ran a museum of curiosities housed in Philosophical Hall in Philadelphia, home of the American Philosophical Society. The boy was born in t he family quarters in the museum. He was given the name Aldrovand, after the Ita lian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi.[3][4] Charles Peale recorded family births on the flyleaf of a copy of Matthew Pilking ton's Dictionary of Painters, rather than in a Bible, and after recording "Aldro vand" added the notation, "if he likes that name when he comes of age".[5] The f ather was a member of the American Philosophical Society, and in February 1796 b rought his young son to a meeting, and asked the members to select another name for the child. They decided on Benjamin Franklin Peale, naming the boy after the Society's founder, Benjamin Franklin. Society legend holds that the boy was giv en the name while placed in the chair of the president of the Society, which had been donated by Franklin.[6][7][8]

[21] Mint employee and officer (1833 1854)[edit] . inheri ted stock in it. learning the making of machines.[10] Although he lacked the artistic talent of some of his brothers. with the student given the means to study what interested him. With aid from the testimony of Captain Allen McLane.[13] which made machinery for card sticking.[19] Peale taught natural history. When Charles Willson Peale died i n 1827. Peale began to work for the Delaware cotton factory of William Young. and continued to manage the fac tory for several years. who is seen in miniature Franklin Peale was one of sixteen children his father would have by his three wi ves. and surveyed his father's farm near Germantown. The Artist in His Museum (1822) In 1820. his education was informal. contrib uting a "curious speaking toy" as well as the model for an early locomotive. the museum was located in the Old State House (today. Peale.[12] At age 19 Peale returned to Germa ntown. livening the talks with experiments. and the annulment was granted on March 22. He was an apt student . Within a year. It quickly became important and influential. where. whi ch was used to draw two small cars in the museum. founder. who ran a nearby machine shop. The Peale family b egan a lengthy effort to show that Eliza Peale was mad when she married Franklin . Peale left factory management to assist his aging father in running the museum. Independence Hall). on the Brandywine River. He was given little classroom education.[14] Frankl in Peale was required to post assets as security for the support of his former w ife. becoming adept as a turner. or what he appeared to be good at. by her husband Charles. For the most part. such as Titian Peale. a ground for annulment. des cribed Peale as highly capable with tools. and like his siblings. [11][16][17] At the time.[11] He was tolerated in hi s desire for a mechanical career by his father.Elizabeth de Peyster Peale. [15] Charles Willson Peale. it became evident she had mental pr oblems.[18] Peale was one of the founders of The Franklin Institute in 1824. Franklin became the manager of the museum. and Peale worked out a system for using the State House bell to inform fire companies of the location of a blaze. and chemistry. 1820. with seating for four people.[8] At age 17. orga nizing an exhibition of American manufactured goods that October. and draftsman. and the child was thereafter cared for by his stepmother. still a minor at age 19. his sister Sophy lent him some of her stock in the museum for that purpose. he proved mechanically inc lined. In Franklin Peale's case. as was usual in the Peale family. he was put in charge. married Eliza Greatrake witho ut his father's consent.[9] Elizabeth Peale died when Franklin was eight years old. 1815. but his father s oon remarried. and worked for the firm of John & Coleman Sellers. t hey were successful.[11] On April 24. as well as at Germantown Academy and the University of Pennsy lvania. one of several mechanics' institutes that came into being in the early 1820s to provide working men with technical education. and remained there for over a decade. but added to them. though he did spend some time at a local schoo l in Bucks County. writing articles for i ts Journal and serving on key committees. who considered it a foolish whim . He not only maintained the exhibits. Anna) she thereafter left him. self portrait. one of at leas t 26 such shows that it put on in the first 34 years of its existence.[12] He was for many years actively involved with The Franklin Institute.[20] mechanics (illustrating his lectures with models an d drawings). He then moved to nearby Philadelphia. Almost immediately. Although Eliza bore Peale a child within the first year of the marriage (a daughter. w ho had her committed to Pennsylvania Hospital as a "lunatic". one of the Hodgson brothers. he made toys as a boy. having designed and supervised the installation of the machinery f or a cotton factory there. returning to live with her mother.

and the latter metal mus t be removed before the gold can be alloyed with copper for coining. and was dangerous and expensive.. and Peale was able to learn the "humid" method from wa tching the assayer as he verified the silver content of the coins from the Frenc h branch mints. Peale studied th e method of assaying via the humid process at Percival N."[26] Mo ore asked that. was flush with money. hoping that Moore's connections could get him instruc tion in the parting process. as the force used t o impress the design on the coins was not uniform.[29] He could not learn parting there as the facility contracted the p rocess to private refineries. The individual would be given the title of Assistant to the Assayer. using human muscle power to strike coins. arriving in Paris late in the mont h. and to learn everyt hing he could of coining technology and how it was powered by steam. Peale had been instructed to learn "parting. 1833.[30] attempts to gain permission to learn the proce ss at these facilities failed when their owners demanded huge sums. in order t o learn the best features of each and bring the knowledge home for use at the Ph iladelphia facility. Samuel Moore.[22] For this.[28] Peale journeyed to London. the use of the screw press was an impediment to this. and until you shall have acquired a good share of adroitness in the actual manipulations .[16] Peale depart ed from New York for Le Havre on May 8. also dubbed refining. if Peale had any time remaining. founde d by coining pioneer Matthew Boulton. such as the gas illumination of citi es. was still under discussion. with instruction at local mints and refineries. as a government agent.[25] The old er method of removing silver involved the use of nitric and sulphuric acids.Hiring and Europe tour[edit] The second building to house the Philadelphia Mint opened in 1833. Peale paid 500 francs for this.[31] In England.[23] Although the Mint wanted all coins to be identical to others of the same denomin ation. an . published and sold by the Paris mint at an expen se of 98 francs 50 centimes. and Mint processes and machinery is within the scope of your inquiries. is necessary beca use nuggets that contain gold also contain some silver.. Although he visited the Royal Mint.[24] This process. it used the transplan ted machinery of its predecessor. Johnson's refinery.[a] leading to differences between coins struck from differe nt dies. Peale g ained permission to study closely the workings of the Monnaie de Paris.000 for the purpose. Edward Livingston. made and sold by the mint.[22] He also copied the Paris facility's Tour á portrait reduc ing lathe. which Peale deemed worth the purchase on the US gov ernment's behalf. he found offici als there unhelpful and unwilling to teach him.[28] Some of the machinery that would be installed on Peale's return to Philadelphia was based on what he saw in Paris. Peale also purchased a set of the apparatus for the humid meth od. to look into other technologies that might be useful to the United States. Whatever ca n be added to our information in regard to the treatment of the precious metals. Director Moore also instructed Peale to gain the m ethod of assaying silver by the "humid process" (titration). At this time. the coinage die s were made by hand. believing th at Peale. with up-to-da te technology except in the coining process. who had for several years contemplated purchasing a modern set of steam machine ry for the production of coins from the Soho Mint in Birmingham. Moore instead decided to engage a new empl oyee and send him on a special tour of European mints and refineries.. until you have become familiar with everything requisite for directing the f ormation of an establishment de novo [from nothing] .. England. Eckfeldt.[23] Moore obtained the approval of Treasury Secreta ry Louis McLane and an appropriation of $7.[24] Moore w arned. Jacob R. Additionally. He sketched the Monnaie de Paris's Thonnelier model coin presses. "a very material object of your mission is to be regarded as unaccomplish ed. it was only certain that Peale would visit Paris a visit to Engla nd." a newly developed method for separ ating gold and silver. The staf f there were cooperative.[27] With the aid of the United States Minister to France. This state of affairs was unsatisfactory to the director. Peale's notes were supplemented by detailed engravings of all th e fixtures used in the process.

"[36] He also visited Freiberg. observing t he smelting and refining of lead ore. Peale ordered a delicate balance scale from his friend .[32] Peale wrote that he "cannot speak in too high terms of Mr. He also wanted additional mechaniz ation in the mint's Coining Department.. Peale invented a piling-box. The Washington administration appointee resigned. writing in December 1834 that use of iron "sometimes leads to los ses that are embarrassing.[44] A Senate report in 1873 state d that Peale's advancement of this process "attests to his genius. but felt that he could reproduce what h e had seen on his return to Philadelphia. replacing assaying by cupellat ion. Stuttgart. dissolved in nitric acid. as the refiners wanted payment for teaching him the French method of parting.[25] This was a further refinement of the parting process. he preferr ed the latter. I have derived much useful information in his refinery particularly his method of separating silver. speeding the work of the c lerks. a nd high attainments". Peale implemented the changes he had rec ommended based on what he had seen in Europe. this could only be done by using co pper. effective at the start of 1836.. which had been imported from France after being seen by Peale there. and later induced Saxton to return to the U nited States and work for the Philadelphia Mint. and Karlsruhe. wh ose son Jacob was the Philadelphia Mint's Assayer. allowing planchets or coins to be quickly stacked.[35] In Germany. He was not completely happy with this. "If Mr. a process that generated dangerous and offensive fumes. as he was not allowed t o practice it himself. engineer George Sellers. although Peale noted these were cheaper than platinum ones.[33] Peale returned to France where.. caused silver chloride to precipitate.d in 1835 introduced it to the Philadelphia Mint.. had first used a salt solution as an easy. expatriate American Joseph Saxton. noting the savi ngs in working time afforded by the Contamin lathe. he learned it by observing the assayer at the bran ch mint in Rouen. or to experiment. headed by Chief Coiner Adam Eckfeldt. 1835. The counting board remained in use until the mints installed mechanical c ounters in 1934. working w .[39] and was confirmed by the Senate on January 5. Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac. enterprise. which could be recovered as metallic silver through the use of zinc and sulfuri c acid."[41] As improvements crept in despite Eckfeldt's caution . Eckfeldt was reluctant to adopt all Peale's recommendations. accurate means of assaying silver.[41] To help deal with the increased out put from the Philadelphia Mint.[38] Peale was nominated as Cloud's replacement by President Andr ew Jackson on December 21. Peale had full swing he would turn every thing upside down . Percival Joh nson . Adam Eckfeldt had helped stri ke some of the first federal coins in 1792 and had been in his office since 1814 . Patterson had Peale. invented by Peale On taking office as Melter and Refiner. and a counting board. or billon.[37] Melter and Refiner[edit] Joseph Cloud had held the position of Melter and Refiner of the Philadelphia Min t since 1797. gold and paladium [palladium] by a shortened proce ss". he wants something better and no doubt he would have it if we were starting anew.[40] A Philadelphia Mint counting board.[26] While in London. the director o f the Monnaie de Paris.[43] When there were calls in Congress in 1836 for a two-ce nt piece to be made of debased silver.[43] Table salt (so dium chloride). the Chief Coiner saw their value and became more enthusiastic.[42] One of the innovations that Peale introduced as Melter and Refiner was the use o f salt in parting.[34] Peale also visited the German mint s of Dresden. 1836. telling Peale's n ephew. parting was done in iron vessels. using it to recover the silver dissolved in nitric acid when gold bullion was being purified. Previously. in Saxony.

including a partial collap se of the Dahlonega building. [46] Despite the ric h gold deposits nearby. a letter might be three times filled with the details of errors and intentional mal construction. both Charlotte and Dahlonega were in areas lacking men w ith technical training. [sic]"[48] Peale. On their way north.. except our Melter & Refiner.. Following a difficult journey over primitive mountain roads. P eale.. and reported to Patterson that he wa s "in a trap" in "this fag end of creation" in a town where "the only active bei ngs are the hogs". He found that necessary equipment had not yet arrived. He proposed to Patterson that he continue to New Orleans after Dahlonega. and discarding those of questionabl e utility in the American mints. and Boulton in London. He wrote to Treasury Secretary Levi Woodbury.[54] Chief Coiner[edit] . Mr.[c] a confidential & skillful person. The Mint Bureau of 1839 ha d to insist on similar ways of processing gold and silver [at the four mints]. New buildings were to be constructed. In August 1837.[b] strike pattern coins to show that the coins would be easily counterfeited using base metals. arrived in Charlotte on September 23. Peale reported to Patterson. the first a nd greatest of which might be traced to Philada. Congress had authorized branch mints at Charlotte. Uhlhorn in Karlsruhe. Louisiana.[45] In 1835. Georgia. who may .. to which the Mint Director replied that he would "exerc ise my veto upon your proposed long delay" and "your presence [in Philadelphia] cannot be dispensed with". Equipment had to be robust and easy to repair. I know of no one competent to this task..[50] On October 27. As with equip ment. to both the Gold mints.[49] Peale spent time visiting the mines on which the Charlott e Mint would rely for bullion."[47] Woodbury agreed. "you are authorized to send Mr. Dahl onega.ith Second Engraver Christian Gobrecht. that have been committed . The va st distances of North America made it impossible to have mechanical experts at e ach mint. a decomposed granite put into brick by men who certainly deserve diplomas for Botching. sitting.. Mint Direct or Patterson received word of problems at both sites. accompanied by his daughter Anna. to strike into American coin the gol d being mined in or entering the country through the South. and adapted it to the Ame rican model of efficiency. we can again see Franklin Peale borrowing from the Royal Mint and Paris Mi nt such production methods that worked well. and without it he co uld do little. give instructions as to correcting the errors. accordingly trained personnel would have to be sent from Philadelphia. waiting for something to break . prop osing "to send. The P eales left Dahlonega at the end of November. Peale ordered a search made. Pe ale was back at his desk at the Philadelphia Mint on December 23. in ordering a brick building in a country where there is no clay.[52] Nevertheless. and New Orleans.[51] After assessin g the problems at the nascent Dahlonega Mint. as h e deemed Congress unlikely to pass another appropriation for construction. The workmanship of the Mint edifice is abominable. Peale went to ba sic principles of equipment used at these great mints. much of the missing equipment arri ved in Charlotte. Franklin and Anna Peale arrived there on November 15. e ven if these processes were not the most efficient or inexpensive. Peale recommended that construction on the building continue. 1 837. informing Patterson. and Peale was able to complete his mission there and leave for Dahlonega on November 10. Peak. the material employed for the brick making be ing the red soil of the Gold region. North Carolina. 1837.[53] Roger Burdette discusses the influence Peale had on the Mint in the 1830s: In mid-1835 we find Philadelphia engineer/machinist Benjamin Franklin Peale disc arding most of the complexity and tradition attendant to press design work of Th onnelier in Paris. Anna was slight ly injured when the train in which they were riding though Virginia derailed.

he recommended Peale as his successor. and was replaced by James B. The Chief Coiner made a number of improvements to the scales. and Lan ge states that the Mint officers were "understandably" prejudiced against him. as his expenses were minimal. He did this by designing. Peale seems to have used government metal. He had no relationship to the families that dominated th e Philadelphia Mint. then rei mbursed the bullion accounts when he collected for the medal.[56] the Senate gave its approval on February 17. Wright in his history of Philadelphia as an early finan cial center. Longacre.[58] Despite his retirement. Patterson. and the connection wi th the Southerner Calhoun was objectionable to Peale. 1839. E ckfeldt continued to come to the mint every day until shortly before his death i n February 1852. 0. 1840. most of whom were Peale's friends and relatives. prior to his appointment. it appears that Peale used mint equipment and employe es to make medals as instructed by Congress and the mint director. This activity took place with the knowledge of the other officers of the Philad elphia Mint.[60] Burdette notes.[59] Soon after his appointment. much of the work of maint aining and modifying the sensitive balances for which Saxton was responsible fel l to Peale. Peale was given a recess appointment as Chief Coin er of the Philadelphia Mint by President Martin Van Buren[56] on March 27. striking and selling medals for privat e commission. Peale began to engage in a private business on the M int's premises. and their assoc iates. Longacre had no training. "Peale started to abuse hi s position and privileges. Van Buren nominated Peale .Appointment and early years[edit] Reverse of Adam Eckfeldt retirement medal.[63] These balances."[62] After scalemaker Saxton left the Mint Service in 1844. The new incumbent had obtained his appointment through the influence of South Carolina S enator John C. and to produc e copies from private and official dies for sale to anyone who was interested.0001 troy ounces (0. [57] On January 23.[55] A s the Senate was not sitting. the legality of Peale's business was unclear. in effect stealing services from the government".[61 ] According to Robert E. This would ensure Peale's highly profitable medal busine ss was not threatened. after the Senate reconvened."[61] This activity has been variously characterized by numismatic writers. Engraver Gobrecht died. using government property and labor. Calhoun. I n the case of private sales. and the Philadelphia Mint's f acilities.[6 7] .[65] They would have preferred no replacement for Gobrecht. others at the mint or into the mint's Cabinet of Coins. attributed to Peale or to Moritz Fuer st When Adam Eckfeldt retired in 1839.[66] Additionally. performing the function of Chief Coiner and leaving Peale with time on his hands. Peale's enterprise was very profitable. were pro tected by plate glass from air currents and dust. According to coin dealer and numismatic author Q. The total amount was probably not large. "Overall. sensitive to . in coin or medal design.0031 g). such as the Pattersons and Eckfeldts. David Bowers. which he wrote up for an article in the Journal of The Franklin Institute in 1847.[60] Clients includ ed corporations as well as one couple celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. Profits were not a ccounted for in mint ledgers and it is unknown how much went to Peale. with the New Y ork engraver Charles Cushing White or others they knew and trusted brought in on contract as necessary.00011 oz.[64] Conflict with Longacre[edit] In 1844. being a successful plate engraver.[d] but "the uncertain ty of the situation made it almost inevitable that someone would make a stink on [Philadelphia's] Chestnut Street.

Peale designed the Indian Peace Medal for President Zachary Taylor in 1849.[72] In this. Peale had the support of Director Patterson. to serve as a pattern for a cast in iron. relieving the Mint's Engraver of much of his routine duties. Congress voted a gold medal to Major General Zachary Taylor for his victories at Palo Alto and R esaca de la Palma. taken the precaution to make a cast in plaster . Peale designed his Indian Peace Medal. Julian.[70] Peale's improvements had made it possible for dies to be reproduced mechanically . Some of these insertions were blundered. This made Longacre the center of attention at the mint. but seasonably complete d.[66] In the absenc e of a need for new designs or denominations. was not perfect. Longacre proceeded with work on the double eagle through late 1849.[71] All this changed in 1849. as he would be responsible for producing the new designs and dies.[72] . as Peale and those who w orked under him also sometimes inserted dates into dies. In 1846. I had. like Peale's Indian Peace Medals. have wondered if. Longacre's first few years at the Philadelphia Mint passed without serious confl ict with Peale. should have their dies lodged at the Philadelphia Mint. the Engraver was approached by a member of the Mint staff.. Battin. form part of the Mint's Presidential series. which was necessary to Peale's medal business. warni ng him that another officer (plainly Peale) sought to have the engraving work do ne outside the Mint.[68] Peale believed that all national commemorative medals. Ba che medal). From this cast. making Longacre redundant. he had to deal with interferen ce from Peale. these mistakes were don e intentionally in an attempt to bring discredit on Longacre.[68] taking care to exclude Longacre from the process. according to a letter written by Longacre the following year. After Taylor became president. which continues to the present day. W.[69] During the Mexican-American War. working from designs or models by other men. those aut horized by Congress. when Congress authorized a gold do llar and a double eagle ($20 piece). The die then had to be hardened in the coining depar tment... as the only alternative. such as R. such as John Adams and William Henry Harrison. Peale sou ght to sabotage Longacre's attempts. Peale designed and engraved the Coast Survey Medal (also called the George M. however. I procurred [sic] a metallic one which. Peale engraved the design from a portrait by William Carl Bro wn and a model by John T. and such work contracted for outside the government. this was a laborious task. but I thought I should be able to correct the imperfections in the engraving of the die . a t some cost to his health.[ 73] As Longacre worked to complete the two new coins. as he later related. and modern-day numis matic scholars. The operations o f the galvanic battery for this purpose were conducted in the apartments of the chief coiner. Morgan.. This was done.[69] Nevertheless. entirely by my own hand. with the goal of having him dismissed. The galvanic process failed. allowing the medal business to continue undisturbed. These works. th e William Henry Harrison medal was designed by later Assistant and Chief Engrave r George T. but not in Peale's time for example. my model was destroyed in the operati on. it unluckily split in the process. however. It also brought him into direct conflict with Peale: the Engraver would need to use the Contamin lathe. in copper.[74] In early 1849. and described the obstacles set in his path by Peale: The plan of operation selected for me was to have an electrotype mould made from my model. Peale sometimes worked on medals for the government. Peale also engraved Indian Peace Medals for presidents J ohn Tyler and James Polk. and be struck there. and with Patterson's support urged the issuance of medals for presidents for whom no Indian Peace Medal had been designed. Longacre had little to do but add the dates to dies. Longacre's response to the infor mation was to spend much of March 1849 preparing the dies for the gold dollar.

Patterson preferred Peale's design.500 proved dangerou s as the piston would drive with tremendous force against the end of its cylinde r.[78] In 1850. wear soon reduced its capacity. they were rejected by Peale. since it was in lower relief and could be struck more easily. Although designed to generate 100 horsepo wer.000 and that Peale conceded had never worked and likely never would. One invention that worked well was the "noisy sofa" sitting on it set off a trumpet bl ast. using a "s teeple" design without exterior pipes. He caused the Mint to purchase a large lathe for turning heavy metal rolls. Meredith was apparently willing to have Longacre fired. and by appearance would be level in a stack. Taxay.10 per ten-hour day. and the pieces would not stack properly . Peale offered a competing design. 1849. "under the circumstances.[75] Peale complained to Patterson. a set of molds for casting ingots and accompan ying equipment. An 1853 attempt by Peale to convert the Philadelphia Mint's wood-burning annealing furnaces to u se anthracite coal destroyed the furnaces. noted that the one surviving 1849 double eagle displays no suc h problems. who wrote to Treasury Secretary William M. Peale's a doption of a process not normally used at the Mint. however. and Tr easury Secretary Thomas Corwin approved the Engraver's work. He bought from his nephew. Peale designed a new steam engine for the Philadelphia Mint. showing a Liberty cap. 1852 These activities were financed through a provision of the Mint Act of 1837 that Patterson interpreted to allow the Mint to decline to give credit for small amou nts of silver in gold deposits. but reluctantly endorsed Longacre's.Pattern coin struck to Peale's design for the three-cent piece in silver According to numismatic historian Don Taxay. Peale suggested that the Mint hire women to supplement the s taff assigned to weigh and adjust gold planchets.[80] In 1851. it graced in tur n the offices of Peale and Patterson. Longacre's design featured a shield w ithin a six-pointed star on one side. American journals of engineering mentioned Peale's latest work without comment. cost the government several thousand dollars. seems more than coincidental.[83] Small deposits of bullion were rou .[79] The Mint's hiring of women was the first time the American government had employed women to fill specific jobs at regular wages. British journals pointed out the defects an d suggested that time had passed Peale by. in 1837 and 1849. The three-cent piec e went into circulation in 1851. and pattern c oins were struck at the Philadelphia Mint. who were (as of 1860) paid $1. a sum considered generous . A drawbench made by Peale at the cost of at least $1. or coin blanks. causing a concussion and endangering those nearby. with the Mint faced with a vast increase in gold deposits due to the Ca lifornia Gold Rush.[79] The Mint did hire 40 wom en. "Peale's machine gun" was put aside by Mint staff as useless soon after its introduction. This practice was twice approved by the then-Sec retary of the Treasury. Meredith asking for Longa cre's removal on December 25. together with its catastroph ic failure. and led to Peale being ordered to undertake no more such projects. describing the work as "being entirely suited to their capacity". who stated that the design was engrav ed too deeply to fully impress the coin. George Sellers. but relented after the Engraver journeyed to Washington and met with him personally. there were calls for a silver three-cent piece.[81] Downfall[edit] Not all of Peale's innovations were successful.[82] The pressing and milling room of the Philadelphia Mint. Constructed at the cost of about $200 in government funds. on the ground he could not make proper dies. which cost the government at least $ 2.[76][77] Beginning in 1849. very similar to one Gobrecht had made in 1836 when a gold dollar had been proposed."[75] When Longacre completed the doubl e eagle dies. which proved unusable as they were not adapted to the Mint's mac hinery.

800 renovation of part of the Philadelphia Mint building in 1850. "I boldly claim to have done for the Mint and my country.[83][85] One flaw in Peale's medal business was his need to acquire gold and silver bulli on within the Mint. with the surplus kept and used at the discretio n of Mint officials. and similar practices whereby officials financed activities without an appropriation from Congress. To pay this. McCulloh that summer published a pamphlet. but came to object to doing so. but both Corwin and Eckert left office in early 1853 with no action having bee n taken against Peale. printing much of th e correspondence. In November of that year. stating that he ur gently needed an assistant. Mint employees were sent to he lp with the arrangements. The Proceeding s of the Late Director of the Mint in Relation to the Official Misconduct of Fra nklin Peale Esq. it passed the Act of February 21. Corwin forwarde d it to Patterson. The death of his predecessor caused Peale to write "a frantic letter" to the new Mint Director (Patterson had retired). such as refusing to ac cept bullion for coins except from McCulloh personally. Chief Coiner and Other Abuses in the Mint. But in 1846.[88] McCulloh also accused Peale of having Mint workers make furniture for his use when they would otherwise be idle. Eckert."[90] Eckert was friendly towards Peale.nded down to be divisible by $5. and there was no prob lem while the Melter and Refiner of the Philadelphia Mint was Peale's friend Jon as R. he and the new Treasury Secretary.[59][87] President Millard Fillmore sent the article to Secretary of the Treasury Corwin for an explanation.[84] This. At first. were brought to an end after Peale proposed a $20. much that wil l entitle me gratitude. and that McCulloh's attack on Peale's medal business was a slight on "the late venerable and much loved Adam E ckfeldt". but Peale objected that the procedure was "inconvenient". Taxay noted that this was only true because the retired Adam Eckfeldt was still performing the duties of that office without salary. projected to be made from the new three-cent pieces. requiring the Mint Dire ctor to regularly pay the seignorage into the Treasury. George N. decided to forbid priv . who confirmed that Peale was running a private medal business on the premises. He alleged that Mint wor kmen had been detailed to make repairs to Peale's house while being paid for the ir time by the government. and the Secretary agreed . or seignorage.[61] Corwin ordere d an investigation.[86] Peale did his best to make McCulloh's position difficult. and ran over budget by $12. the former official published an article in the Ne w York Evening Express alleging that those employed at the Mint had transformed "it into a workshop for their gain". Beg inning in August 1849. McCulloh gave Peale whatever gold and silver he needed without question. and Peale instead gained it from the Mint's Treasurer. whose precedent Peale stated he was following. and this ceased in February 1852 when Eckfeldt died after a brief illne ss.[89] Peale wrote in his defense.[59] McCulloh's campaign had continued. In 1850. When Congres s heard of this. One man subsequently stated that he and another Mint employee spent two days working on Peale's house. McCulloh refused further requests from Peale for bullion. This tract was reviewed by the new Mint Director. which dragged on for the next year and a half. Patterson used the profits. Peale and McCulloh made a deal whereby the struck medal would remain in McCulloh's custody until Peale had rep laced the bullion. and worked to discredit the accusations. and stating that Peale was unfit to hold office. McCu lloh urged Corwin to review the correspondence himself. James Guthrie. alleging that McCulloh was accusing the Director and the accounting staff of "gross neglect of duty". McCulloh resign ed. 1853. Peale entered a statement in April 1852. McClintock resigned and was replaced by Richard S ears McCulloh. McClintock. 1851. James Ross S nowden. but stated that there was no interference with the performance of Peale's duties as Chief Coiner.. on August 1. This was paid for once the medal sold. he wrote directly to Presi dent Fillmore.000. accusing Peale of "lavish and unnecessary expenditure of public m oney". another alleged that whenever the archery club of which Peale was a member met.

such as William DuBois (Adam Eckfeldt's son-in-law and the Assistant Ass ayer (later Assayer) of the Philadelphia Mint) stated that it was so President P ierce could have the position to fill from the Democratic Party. this was enacted. and that Guthrie in turn wrote to the President [Franklin Pierce] who.ate enterprises on the Mint's property. Taxay noted tha t this explanation ignored the fact that Martin Van Buren. Peale catalogued his finds and added narrative descriptions. His se cond.. He was a lifelong skater.[101] Peale married twice.[96][97] A longtime member of the Pennsylvania A cademy of Fine Arts. who had died in 1869). remaining i n that position through 1867. marriage was to Caroline Girard Haslam. childless. produced one daughter. bequeathing the collection to the American Philosophical Society. at his instructions.[92] The reasons for Peale's firing were not publicly announced. He supported the abolition of the gold dollar and the three-dollar piece. death.[94] In his later years. it lasted from 1839 to his death. still holding the office at his death in 1870. which his father had helped to found. the specifics are uncertain..[9 2] Nevertheless. Guthrie issued regulatio ns banning the practice. who survived him. and was elected its president in 1863. saying that their designs have. "hitherto been lamentabl y. In 1864. Peale spent some of his autumns at the Delaware Water Gap no rth of Philadelphia. dismissed Peale at once . "why such a valuable officer was displaced does not app ear". he served as one of i ts directors through much of his retirement. He was also. It is clear. and .] never again to return. hav ing no one else to write to.[96] An adept archer.[95] Peale was among those consulted in 1870 by Treasury Secretary George Boutwell in preparing the legislation to reform the Mint that became the Coinage Act of 187 3. but these coins were not ended by Congress u ntil 1890. Peale left the Mint on December 2. served on many important committees. president of the Skater's C lub. and the niece of the wealthy Stephen Girard. members of whom carried his casket to his gr ave.[91] Taxay recorded that the new policy "seem[s] to have been ill-received in certain quarters of the Mint" but that as not all records are extant. He enjoyed the company of children. Anna. was also a Democrat as president. and assessment[edit] After his departure from the Philadelphia Mint. that Snowden wrote to Guthrie preferring charges against P eale.[92] According to Taxay. searching for Stone Age artifacts and amassing a major coll ection. and his friends and allies.[99][100] He denigrated recent coin issues (many designed by Longacre.[68] He had been elected a manager of the latter organization in 1839. at his death. but was still able to continue his activities. however.[94] Civic organizations of which he was president included the Musical Fund Society of Pennsylvania and the Institution for Instru ction to the Blind.[98] Peale advocated for the office of the Mint Director to be moved from Phil adelphia to Washington. Peale initially retired from all employment. he returned to the private sector as president of the Haze lton Coal and Rail Road Company.[95] A member of the America n Philosophical Society since 1833. making toys by his own hand for them. Peale was in declinin g health in his final months. In August 1854. if not disgracefully deficient".[93] Later years. he h elped found the United Bowmen club. under whose administr ation Peale had been appointed Chief Coiner. a widow. his first marriage to Eliza Greatrake. and developed a method for extracting a skater wh o broke through the ice that saved many lives. contracted in 1815 w hile he was still a minor. he served as one of its curators from 1838 t o 1845 and from 1847 until 1870. [1854. an 1873 Senate report on Peale's request for compensation after being dismissed stated. in which he had long been involved.

He was the consummate 'machinist' o f the day at a time when this term encompassed imaginative design. perfect joy. where it may be open to the inspe ction of visitors and preserve his memory to future generations. Ca roline Peale. he was also held in high esteem by t he common mint workers and Philadelphia's scientific elite. The Senate twice. after his death the act was.000 as payment for improv ements and inventions he had made for the government. "to be set upon a pedestal. but the House of Representati ves declined to vote on it."[105] According to Bowe rs. While he had the complete sup port of mint directors Moore and Patterson.[104] Walter Breen deemed Peale. writing in 1966. "If this is death. in 1858 and 1860. perfect comfort. They were of almost incalculable value to the public service. described Peale. the inventions and im provements were peculiarly Mr. 1870. I have no doubt whatever on that point. "Although Mr. "today Peale is one of several Mint people who can be viewed from many diffe rent angles.[107][108] The following month. gentlemanly bearing and high moral and mental culture constituted him a model officer". Results of many of h is ideas lasted a century or more.000. each perspective sometimes leading certain writers to draw widely d iffering conclusions. Legislation to compensate Peale in the amount of $10. 1873. Peale's. "his mildnes s.000 was enact ed on March 3. Franklin's widow. Peale. in some position."[102] Mint Director Henry Linderman stated in 1873 of Peale. gave the Mint a marble bust of her late husband. Ev ans."[107][109] Taxa y."[106] After his dismissal.[109] . planning. In 1870. it is as I wished. the greatest influence to operations and production came from one man: Benjamin Franklin Peale. in his late 19th century history of the Mint.[66] Burdette writes of Peale and his effect on the Mint. Peale petitioned Congress for $30.only a short illness preceded his death at his home at 1131 Girard Street in Ph iladelphia. "during the generat ion from about 1830 to 1855. perfect peace. it was introduced in the Senate again. passed legislation to pay Peale $10. con struction and improvement of working processes . Franklin Peale's daughter. Peale undou btedly received the cooperation of [Patterson and others]. integrity. on May 5. stated that he had been unable to ascertain the bust's where abouts.. in relie f of Anna E. His final words were.. but did not pass."[103] George G. until growth in population made nineteenth ce ntury engineering insufficient for modern coinage needs. "brilliant but unscrupulou s". according to its title.