In 1792, Congressional legislation created a national mint "at the seat of the government of the United States" to regulate coinage. It authorized the Mint to make coins of gold (Eagles, Half Eagles and Quarter Eagles), silver (Dollars, Half Dollars, Quarter Dollars, Dimes, and Half Dimes), and copper (Cents and Half Cents). The Act also authorized the President to construct the Mint in Philadelphia. It was the first Federal building erected under the Constitution.
In 1833, the Treasury building was burned to the ground by arsonists. Congress demanded that the replacement be a fire-proof building. In 1835, branch Mints were created at New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dahlonega, Georgia.
In 1852, Congressional legislation established a branch mint in California and in March of 1853, an Act of Congress established an Assay Office in New York City. The Mint of the United States located its office on Wall Street.
In April, President Pierce appointed Thomas M. Pettit of Pennsylvania the 8th Director of the Mint. He served only 2 months, and in June, President Pierce appointed the Hon. James Ross Snowden, LL.D. of Pennsylvania the 9th Director of the Mint.