"Hard Money" in the Voluntaryist Tradition
by Carl Watner
From Issue 23 - Jan. 1987
At least twice in his career, Lysander Spooner (1801 - 1887) commented on the
existence and circulation of privately made gold coins in the United States. In
1844, when rebutting the Postmaster General's claim that the constitutional right
of Congress to establish post office post roads was an exclusive one, like that
of coining money, Spooner noted that
Provided individuals do not 'counterfeit' or 'imitate' 'the securities or current
coin of the United States,' they have a perfect right, and Congress have no power
to prohibit them, to weigh and assay pieces of gold and silver, mark upon them
their weight and fineness, and sell them for whatever they will bring in competition
with the coin of the United States. It was stated in Congress a few years ago,
. . . , that in some parts of the gold reigon of [North Carolina], a considerable
portion of their local currency consisted of pieces of gold, weighed, assayed,
and marked by an individual, in whom the public had confidence. And this practice
was as unquestionably legal, as the sale of gold in any other way.
In 1886, in A Letter to Grover Cleveland
, Spooner observed that the
power of Congress to coin money was simply a power to weigh and assay metals and
that there was no necessity that such a service be provided by or be limited to
the federal government. Spooner claimed it would have been best if all coins
by the authority of Congress or private individuals "had all been made into
pieces bearing simpy the names of pounds, ounces, pennyweights, etc., and containing
just the amounts of pure metal described by those weights. The coins
have been regarded as only so much metal; . . . And all the jugglery, cheating,
and robbery that governments have practiced, and licensed individuals to practice
- by coining pieces bearing the same names, but having different amounts of metal
- would have been avoided." Spooner also mentioned that for many years after
the discovery of gold in California, "a large part of the gold that was taken
out of the earth, was coined by private persons and companies, and this coinage
was perfectly legal. And I do not remember to have ever heard any complaint or
accusation, that it was not honest and reliable."
Spooner's references to private gold coinage reflect the poineers' search for
a way to satisfy their monetary needs. Where there were no government mints and
when State coinage was scarce, but where gold was plentiful, it was only natural
that the demand for gold coinage would be satisfied by market means. This aspect
of numismatic history of the United States demonstrates how "natural society"
operates in the absence of the State. If there is a market demand for a good
or service, then some entrepreneur(s) will satisfy it. The people of the frontier
were more concerned with the intrinsic worth and quality of their media of exchange
than with who issued it. There was nothing special about coinage. In the Southeast
during the Civil War it became customary to specify the settlement of monetary
obligations in "Becthler gold" rather than Union coin or Confederate
or state currencies. A similar preference manifested itself in Colorado, where
Clark, Gruber & Co. coins were the preffered media of exchange during the
The production and circulation of these coins was absolutely legal, though
never sanctioned by any positive law. "By the time of the Colorado gold
rush, [the] private coiners' common law right to issue gold coins of intrinsic
value comparable to the Federal products was undisputed." A "common
law right" simply means the right to engage in any form of peaceful, honest
market activities. No activity, commercial or otherwise, is outlawed, unless
it is inherently invasive of another person and/or his or her property.
The "hard money" movement today has little if no understanding of
the significance of the voluntary principle and the voluntaryist approach to
social change. First, few "hard money" advocates believe in a monetary
system totally free of State interference. Secondly, only a few seem prepared
to abandon legal tender laws and adopt the principle of the specific performance
doctrine (that monetary debts can be settled only in accord with the specifications
of the contract of debt). Thirdly, many seem enamored of lobbying for legislative
changes rather than ignoring unjust laws and seeking to make those laws unenforceable
through mass noncompliance. Even the legalization of gold ownership and the legalization
of gold clauses in private contracts is clouded because of the past confiscatory
history of the United States government during the New Deal and the continued
existence of legal tender laws today. It should be fairly obvious that a State
strong enough to legislate and enforce legal tender laws is certainly strong
enough to abrogate such laws when it so chooses. The voluntaryist attitude that
positive legislation and court decisions can never overrule the natural rights
of individuals to deal in gold or silver is negated by most hard money advocates
when they use the legislative process to obtain permission to own gold and use
the gold clause in contracts.
Just over 100 years ago, private issues of gold coins and ingots were the dominant
media of exchange in the western areas of this country. Gold issues today, such
as the Englehard gold "Prospector," and the output of Gold Standard
Corp. in Kansas City, are reminiscent of this earlier frontier era. Even the
United States government is trying to take advantage of investor interest in
gold coins, by issuing the new gold "Eagle," a one ounce coin with
a legal tender value of $50. Before 1933, when FDR's administration confiscated
all privately held gold (with the exception of numismatic coins), an ounce of
gold was worth $20 on the market. Since that time no political administration
has ever returned the confiscated gold to its rightful owners. Meanwhile the
one ounce gold coin which was then referred to as a "double eagle"
has become dubbed the "Eagle" (which formerly was only one-half ounce
of gold) and the new coin's legal tender value bears no relationship to the free
market price of gold (which at the time of this writing is about $400 per ounce).
Unlike today, the almost complete absence of paper currency, coupled with the
traditional use of gold coins, led to the rejection of federal greenbacks in
California during the time of the Civil War.
Private gold coinage had its origins during the gold rush that occurred in
Georgia and North Carolina in 1828. Prior to the discovery of gold in California
in 1848, these southeastern states produced more gold than any other region in
the country. In 1840, the Director of the Mint, in his report to Congress, referred
to Christopher Bechtler who operated a private mint in Rutherfordton, North Carolina,
in competition with the U.S. mint at Charlotte. The Mint Director could take
no legal action against Bechtler, for he observed: "It seems strange that
the privilege of coinage should be carefully confined by law to the General Government,
while that of coining gold and silver, though withheld from the States, is freely
permitted to individuals, with the single restriction that they must not imitate
the coinage established by law."
By the time of the California Gold Rush, Bechtler and his family had minted
well in excess of 100,000 coins. Though the mint in Charlotte had been established
in 1838, the Bechtlers continued to issue gold coins until the late 1840's. Their
mint successfully competed with the mint at Charlotte because the Bechtlers were
much closer to the gold mining areas and had an established reputation.
In California, many of the conditions which had originally sparked the Bechtler
mint into life were to be found. American settlement began in California as early
as 1841, and by 1846 there was extreme agitation for making California an American
territory. U.S. forces occupied California during the Mexican War, and in 1848
Mexico ceded all of its claims to California to the United States. Gold was discovered
in January 1848 and the Gold Rush, as we know it, began in the fall of that year.
Military government lasted until October 1849, at which time a state convention
created a constitution and made a formal request for admission to the Union.
Meanwhile government on all levels barely existed: There was no formal law, there
were no jails, immigration to the gold fields progressed unimpeded, and the military
strength of the Federal government was relatively weak. Finally, in September
1850, California was accepted as a state and the struggle began to establish
formal government. Communication with the East was difficult until the telegraph
reached the state in 1861, and transportation remained a problem even after direct
rail connection was made with the East in 1869.
The requirements of the early mercantile community in California, especially
of San Francisco businesses, led directly to many of the events in which we are
interested. According to Federal law in effect in 1849, all custom duties due
the United States were payable in lawful United States coin. Accordingly, every
piece of coined money which existed in California was hoarded to pay import duties
and the normal channels of trade suffered from a shortage of coined money. At
first gold dust was used as a substitute for coined money, but the military governor
discovered that the law regarding duties could only be satisfied by a tender
of coins, whether gold or silver. Thus gold coins eventually came to command
a premium over gold dust since they were desperately needed at the Custom House.
Since the supply of coins was so limited, it was suggested by members of the
mercantile community that private assayers issue gold pieces to fill the need.
The first suggestion to this effect appeared in July 1848, and by early 1849
private issues were struck. The private issues enabled the miners to get more
coined money for their gold dust and allowed a greater number of coins to circulate
in general trade.
The first private gold coin was probably issued by the firm of Norris, Gregg
& Norris and was followed, during the summer of 1849, by strikes from the
assay and gold brokerage business of Moffat & Co. At first gold dust was
assayed and formed into rectangular ingots with the firm's name, the fineness
(in carats) and the dollar value appearing on the bar. Shortly thereafter a $10
gold piece, struck as a circular coin, was issued by Moffat & Co. By the
end of 1849, a virtual avalanche of private issues had found circulation in California,
including minting work done by the Mormons in Salt Lake City, by J. S. Ormsby
& Co., and the Miners' Bank.
The coins with which the early Californians had to do business soon fell into
disrepute, as it was discovered that their intrinsic value did not always match
their stamped value. The Mormon coins, which only contained $17 worth of gold
in a $20 piece, soon ceased to circulate, as did many of the other private coins.
The holders of such pieces had to sell their coins at bullion value and pocket
the loss. Moffat & Co., whose pieces were always worth at least 98 percent
of their stamped value, continued to issue coins in 1850, at which time there
also appeared new issues by Baldwin & Co., Dubosqu & Co., and by Frederick
Kohler, the newly appointed state assayer.
By April 1850 the coin situation had come to the attention of the state legislature
and during the same month laws were passed which prohibited private mints. Simultaneously,
to fill the demand for coined money, the California legislature created the State
Assay Office, which was responsible for assaying gold dust, forming it into bars,
and stamping it value and fineness thereon. The State Assay Office is unique
because it was the only establishment of its kind ever operated in the United
States under the authority of a state government, and because its issues were
so closely allied to that of gold coinage it is questionable that it did not
violate the constitutional clause against state coinage. The State Assay Office
was soon superseded by The U.S. Assay Office, which was established by Federal
statute on September 30, 1850. Moffat & Co. became the contractor for the
U.S. Assay Office and began operations in this capacity in February 1851. A month
later the state prohibition on private coinage was repealed, since well over
a million dollars' worth of gold had been privately coined in the first quarter
of 1851 alone, so great was the demand for bars and coins.
Although Moffat & Co. became associated with the U.S. government as its
assay contractor, they always recognized the right of private persons or firms
to issue their own gold coins. In responding to criticisms leveled directly at
them during the passage of the state prohibition on private issues they stated
: "We aver that we have violated no law of the United States in regard to
coining (our own) money; that we have defrauded no man of one cent by issuing
our coin; that we have in no instance refused or failed to redeem in current
money of the United States all such issues without detention or delay, and we
hold ourselves ready now and at all times hereafter to do so. . . . We hold ourselves
responsible for the accuracy of our stamp, whether it be upon bullion or in the
forms of ingots or coin. If there be error then the party aggrieved has his remedy
at common law."
Moffat & Co. was apparently the most responsible of the private concerns
minting money, for in April 1851, the businesses of San Francisco placed an embargo
on all private gold coinage except Moffat. The remainder of the private issues
were soon sent to the U.S. Assay Office, slugs of not less than $50 were to be
issued. Such ingots were too large for normal trade and soon a demand grew for
coins of smaller denominations. Moffat & Co., as contractors for the U.S.
Assay Office, requested authority to issue such coins. Since their authority
was not forthcoming, in the end Moffat & Co bowed to the demands of the merchants
and minted such soins under their own authority and mark.
The situation worsened in 1852, when the U.S. Customs House refused to accept
the $50 ingots issued by the U.S. Assay Office. Although these slugs were issued
under the direct authority of the Federal government, their fineness was only
that of the average California gold, perhaps 887/1000 fine. A new federal law
required that all customs duties be paid in gold coinage of the fineness of standard
U.S. coins, which was 900/1000 fine. Therefore the Treasury Department instructed
its agents not to accept the issues of its own Assay Office, until these issues
met the required fineness. The Washington authorities did not seem to recognize
the ridiculousness of their decision, which not only disparaged their own issues,
but practically denied the merchants any circulating medium at all. Eventually
the controversy was settled by having the Assay Office conform to the higher
The Federal mint, which had long been agitated for in California, went into
partial operation in April 1854. Within a few years it satisfied all the demand
for coins. Until it went into full-scale operation, however, the demand for circulating
coins was met by the issues of such private concerns as Kellogg & Richter,
Kellogg & Humbert, and Wass. Molitor & Co. At the end of 1855 it was
estimated that there was still some five to eight million dollars' worth of private
coin in circulation. In the summer of 1856 coin was needed in San Francisco for
export purposes, and both the issues of the U.S. mint and private coins were
used to meet this need. By October 1856 the Federal mint was apparently able
to meet all demands for coins in domestic circulation and for export, so that
private issues of gold coin quietly passed out of existence. There is no record
of any further private minting in California after this time.
Although paper money found circulaton in the East, at no time before the Civil
War did banknotes play a substantial part in the circulating media of California.
Between the cessation of private issues and the outbreak of the Civil War, the
Federal mint in San Francisco continued to satisfy all demands for coins. This
tradition of handling gold and silver coinage in California was buttressed by
the provision of the state constitution which expressly prohibited the creation
of any (paper) credit instruments designed to circulate as money.
The metallic coinage of the Californians had provided them with a remarkable
prosperity and stable purchasing power. Therefore, when as a result of the Civil
War the Federal government issued legal tender notes in 1862, Californians were
faced with the prospect of handling paper money for the first time. Acceptance
and use of these new "greenbacks" (which had no gold backing, only
the general credit of the government behind them) became a subject of public
debate in California. Objections to the new currency concerned its constitutionality
and the likelihood of its depreciation in terms of purchasing power.
Creditors were particularly fearful that their interests would be hurt as it
would be possible for debtors to repay their loans in depreciated currency. At
first this is exactly what happened, as can be seen from the grievance of a Sacramento
About four years ago  I loaned $10,000 in gold coin of the United States
to John Smith of Sacramento City, for which said Smith executed me a note, in
the usual form, bearing interest at the rate of one and one-half per cent per
month. This note I placed in the hands of my bankers, D. O. Mills & Co.,
Sacramento, with the instructions to receive and receipt for the interest as
it accrued thereon, and also to collect the principal at maturity. In January
last , Mr. Smith called at the banking house . . . and tendered $10,000
in greenbacks in payment in full on the note executed to me, knowing that the
said notes were not at that time worth more than 68¢ on the dollar. . .
. [My bankers] refused to receive the tendered greenbacks without consultation
with me, and, moreover denounced the conduct of Mr. Smith as unfair in the extreme,
at the same time reminding him of the fact that he had received the whole amount
in gold coin. After a conference more protracted than pleasant, Mr. Smith offered
to pay $10,000 in greenbacks and $1,000 in gold, which proposition, rather than
be a party to a tedious and expensive lawsuit, I assented to. . . . As it is,
I am loser to the amount of $2,200, allowing 68¢ on the dollar for greenbacks,
and at the rate they are now selling - and I still have them on hand - my loss
is about $3,500.
However, there were those who favored introduction of the legal tender notes
in California. Loyalty and patriotism to the Union were advanced as the chief
reasons. Some thought that a refusal by the people of California to use the currency
of the Federal government would be tantamount to secession. Others felt that
the greenbacks would act as a stimulus to business, and hoped to profit from
the speculation inherent in their use.
Since the Federal notes continued to lose purchasing power, the commercial
elements in San Francisco realized that a definite stand had to be taken on the
use and acceptance of the greenbacks in local transactions. Business that had
contracts with the Federal government were hard hit by the inflation, as they
had expected to receive gold coin for their work and instead were paid in paper
of a lesser value. Federal employees also found themselves at a serious disadvantage
in receiving their wages and salaries in depreciated money, while their expenses
were counted in gold. In November 1862 the merchants of San Francisco attempted
to counter the use of greenbacks by effecting an agreement among themselves
not to receive or pay out legal tender at any but market value, gold being
adhered to as the standard. The plan was to have this agreement signed by all
the leading firms of the city; then to have it signed also by all other firms,
both those in the city, and those in the country who had dealings with the city.
If any one refused to enter the association, or having agreed to pay for goods
in gold, paid for them in greenbacks at par instead, then his name should be
entered in a black book, and the firms all over the State should be notified
so that in all his subsequent dealings he would be obliged to pay for his goods
in gold at the time of purchase.
As early as July 1862 questions raised by the circulation of the greenbacks had
received attention in the courts. A case was brought before the Supreme Court
of California during this month which sought "To compel the defendant, as
tax collector of the city and county of San Francisco, to accept from the relator
$270.45 in United States notes tendered in payment for the present year."
The tax collector had refused to accept the tender of paper money, claiming that
his duty was to accept only "legal coin of the United States, or foreign
coin at the value fixed for such coin by the laws of the United States."
The court judged in favor of the tax collector and thus prohibited the payment
of taxes in greenbacks.
At the same time the State Treasurer pulled off an ingenious financial coup
by taking advantage of depreciation of the paper currency. The plan was to collect
the Federal direct tax in coin and pay it into the U.S. Treasury in legal tender
notes, saving the difference for the state. This "earned" the state
the sum of $24,620, but the action was almost universally condemned. The moral
attitude of the San Franciscans on paying their debts in depreciated money is
well illustrated by the fact that the interest on the City's municipal bonds
were paid in gold at New York, rather than in legal tender notes. To pay in depreciated
notes was considered beneath the dignity of the city and a real violation of
the faith pledged with the holders of the bonds abroad.
Although Californians could continue to own gold the very existence of the
legal tender law created a general feeling of insecurity. The merchants of San
Francisco were determined to remain on the gold standard and they were encouraged
by the decision of the court in favor of the tax collector. In order to keep
the business of the state on a gold basis, however, it became clear to the merchants
that legislation must be had to enable the parties to a contract to enforce the
collection of the kind of money which had been specified in the contract. They
had at first attempted to agitate for exemption of California from the Federal
legal tender law, but their resolution to this effect in the state legislature
was postponed indefinitely. Later, resolutions were introduced in the legislature
to obtain relief for those working for the Federal government by having them
paid in gold coin. Nothing was gained by the discussion of these resolutions
except to arouse the ire of advocates of the greenbacks.
These legislative maneuvers, even if they had been successful, would not have
accomplished what was needed to keep the state on a specie basis. Slowly people
realized that, where there were two different types of money in circulation,
legislation was needed to make it possible to enforce contracts in either paper
currency or metallic coinage, as provided for in the contract. Advocates of such
legislation held that "contracts fairly made in view of all the circumstances
ought to be enforced. If, then, contracts are made specifically to be performed
by the payment of gold, it seems to us to be a duty on the part of the legislature
to provide the remedy for their enforcement. Common honesty cannot refuse this."
The legislation which accomplished this objective was approved on April 27,
1863. By amending the procedures in civil cases, writs of execution or judgment
on a contract or obligation for the direct payment of money in a specified kind
of money or currency had to be fulfilled by the same kind of money or currency
that was specified in the original contract or obligation. This came to be known
as the Specific Performance Act or Specific Contract Law, since it voided the
requirement of the Federal legal tender act and substituted the provisions of
each contract for purposes of determining what kind of money was to satisfy a
debt. In the discussion that led to the passage of this bill in the state legislature
it was pointed out that there was no mention of gold or silver in the law itself.
The law simply let the freely contracting parties choose the means of payment
between themselves. Formerly there had been no legal means to enforce payment
of gold coin on a contract or debt, even though it had been specified as the
means of payment. A man owing $100 in gold could pay it with $100 of legal tender
notes, even if $100 in notes would only buy $50 in gold coin. Now a creditor
could seek justice. Supporters of this legislation were not entirely antagonistic
to the use of legal tender notes, but they saw no reason to compel acceptance
of paper money at an artifically enforced value. The law did not discriminate
between the two types of money, but it enabled the parties to make contracts
understandingly and upon equal terms, regardless of whether they choose gold
or paper as the means of payment.
Any opposition to the Specific Contract Law which may have existed was disarmed
by a State Court decision of July 1864, which upheld the act as constitutional.
It was ruled that the specific contract to pay in gold was more than a contract
merely for the payment of money, but went to the extent of defining by what specific
act the contract should be performed. The court noted that,
A contract payable in money generally is undoubtedly, payable in any kind of
money made by law legal tender at the option of the debtor at the time of payment.
He contracts simply to pay so much money, and creates a debt pure and simple;
and by paying what the law says is money his contract is performed. But, if he
agrees to pay in gold coin, it is not an agreement to pay money simply, but to
pay or deliver a specific kind of money, and nothing else; and the payment in
any other is not a fulfillment of the contract according to its terms or the
intention of the parties. (25 Cal. 564)
The Specific Performance Act was also held to apply to contracts made before
its passage. In an action brought before the court to enforce gold payment of
a note which had been executed before the passage of this legislation, it was
held that "where laws confessedly retrospective have been declared void,
it has been upon the ground that such laws were in conflict with some vested
right, secured either by some constitutional guarantee or protected by the principles
of universal justice." But this act "takes a contract as it finds it,
and simply enforces a performance of it according to its terms," and is
not changing the relations of the parties to the contract. The Specific Contract
Law was also used to enforce payment under agreements "to pay a specific
sum in gold coin or upon failure thereof, to pay such further sum as might be
equal to the difference in value between gold coin and legal tender notes."
As the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce noted in 1864, the Specific Contract
Act "simply enforces the faithful performance of contracts. It enjoins good
faith, a principle which lies at the very foundation of public prosperity, and
without which there can be no mutual confidence, no progress, no credit and no
Apparently the Federal government took little or no notice of the actions of
the Californians during the Civil War. In fact the Specific Contract Law remains
on the California statute books (as Section 667 of the California Code of Civil
Procedures) and has never been changed by California legislation. And it was
not until 1935 that the Federal government took any action to abrogate this state
legislation (by outlawing gold clause contracts). However, as early as 1861 the
Secretary of the Treasury realized that private coinage was a danger to the government's
own prerogatives. Between 1860 and and 1862 the firm of Clark, Gruber & Co.
was engaged in the manufacture of their own coins from their mint in the city
of Denver. Here again, the demand for a circulating medium was satisfied by private
means before the government was able to act. The Clark, Gruber coins were of
high quality and always either met or exceeded the gold bullion value of similar
United States coins. In a peroid of less than two years this firm minted approximately
three million dollars' worth of coin. Their mint promised to outdo the government's
own production, and to get rid of them, the government bought them out in 1865
Such private competition with the Federal mints led to an amendment of the
coinage laws of the United States which prohibited private coinage. By an Act
of Congress, on June 8, 1864, it was ruled :
That if any person or persons, except now authorized by law, shall hereafter
make, or cause to be made, or shall utter or pass, or attempt to utter or pass,
any coins of gold or silver, or other metals or alloys of metal, intended for
the use and purpose of current money, whether in the resemblance of the coin
of the United States or foreign countries, or of original design, every person
so offending shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by fine not exceeding
three thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years,
or both, at the discretion of the court, according to the aggravation of the
It was not until after 1870, when Federal bank charters were granted to banks
in California, that banknote circulation gained any real foothold in California.
The entire history of California money up until that time supports the observation
that "the more efficient money will drive from circulation the less efficient
if the individuals who handle money are left free to act in their own interest."
Thus in the early period the Moffat coinage, because it was consistently of higher
quality, won out in the struggle among private issues. Since there was no legal
tender law compelling people to use the coins of a particular company or mint,
that money which best satisfied the people was most often used. Issues of questionable
fineness were either rejected, or valued at bullion value and returned to the
melting pot. Wherever the government failed to provide sufficient coined money
private firms and private individuals soon filled the void, so long as they were
not prevented from doing so by law.
The latter period under discussion, dated from the beginning of the Civil War,
more closely resembles our own monetary situation today. The period was one of
government inflation, caused generally by the budgetary strains of war. Issues
of legal tender notes cause prices to rise, and between 1860 and 1864 prices
doubled in the northern states. The rate of interest was appreciably affected
in California due to the uncertainty of having debts paid off in greenbacks.
Nevertheless, Californians avoided much of the government inflation by adhering
to the gold standard and enacting the Specific Performance Act. Their main objection
to the legal tender notes was to using them at an artificial value enforced by
law. This realization defeated the purpose of the Federal government (or debtors
who chose to cancel their debts with such notes) since their object was to obtain
goods and services on a compulsory basis at an undervalued price. Since the power
of the Federal government did not reach as strongly into California as into the
North, people there were able to avoid the compulsory aspects of the tender law
and value the government notes as they saw fit. (It is interesting to note that
in San Francisco both paper and gold continued in use until 1914. With the outbreak
of World War I the Federal Reserve Bank was desperate to put a stop to the handling
of gold. By allowing the banks to pay only in $20 gold pieces when payment was
demanded in gold, $5 and $10 pieces were gradually removed from circulation,
and thus the effective base of gold handling was undercut.)
Given the demise of both private and government gold coinage, it is difficult
to imagine how commodity money will once again assert its dominance in market
exchanges. Yet there is a natural law at work which assures us that paper is
not gold, despite all the statist protestations to the contrary. Both voluntaryists
and "hard money" advocates need to be aware of the monetary history
related in this article. Not only is the moral case for private coinage laid
out, but its very existence just over a century ago proves that such a system
was functional and practical.
Edgar Adams, Private Gold Coinage of California
, 1849-55, Brooklyn :
by the author, 1915 (see pages xi-xii).
Donald Kagin, Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States
York : Arco Publishing, 1981 (see page 9).
Bernard Moses, "Legal Tender Notes in California," The Quarterly
Journal of Economics
, October 1892.
Lysander Spooner, A Letter to Grover Cleveland on His False Inaugural Address,
The Usurpation and Crimes of Lawmakers and Judges, and the Consequent Poverty,
Ignorance, and Servitude of The People
, 1886 (see Section XXII).
Lysander Spooner, The Unconstitutionality of the Laws of Congress Prohibiting
, 1844, (see page 18).
Carl Watner, "California Gold, 1849-65," Reason
1976, pp. 22-28. Much of the present article has been excerpted from this source.
William Woolridge, Uncle Sam, the Monopoly Man
, New Rochelle : Arlington
House, 1970, See esp. Ch. 3, "Every Man His Own Mintmaster."