John Smith Gardner - Assistant Engraver of the US Mint 1794 - 1796

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There is very little information available concerning John Smith Gardner, either from his early life before working at the Mint or his later life after leaving it. Gardner was acting assistant engraver starting in November of 1794, however he was never fully commissioned.

Just how much engraving of the coinage dies was done by Gardner and what was done by Scot is unsure, however it has been suggested that Gardner may have made some master dies. From the beginning, Gardner was paid various amounts per day from as low as $1.62 to $2.62 a day for his work as assistant engraver. He wrote to Director DeSaussure on August 11th, 1795, asking for a raise in pay to $3.00 per day. He would however, have to wait until Elias Boudinot became the new Mint Director for this to happen.

It's thought that Gardner resigned from the Mint on March 31st, 1796, as there is no record of payment to him for the second quarter. If he had left, he was evidently rehired for a short time on July 1st, but resigned again on August 26th, 1796, after 50 days work. There is no other record found of Gardner in connection with the Mint or in Philadelphia itself, after August 1796.

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