June 2022 - Welcome




A Slow Month

Maybe it is coming out of COVID,  but more likely it is having a house full of children and grandchildren, that puts things in slow motion.  As we all know, grandkids come with a whole different energy level and an agenda of their own.


So after about ten days of total confusion we are back to Morgans.


Back from PCGS

We have all noted with some consternation the slow return of items from PCGS.  I have essentially stopped Morgan submissions until we can see some improvements.  My submissions of modern coins and medals are not time critical and we can continue with them. Morgans, on the other hand, are on a different level since we are submitting them with a purpose in mind and need faster answers.


For right now the only answer seems to be to buy encapsulated coins only.


New VAMs

In my last newsletter I wrote that I  have clarifications on our VAM 1 coins and I still intend to get them off to JB for positive identification.  I believe there are four new VAM's there and now that the house is a little quieter perhaps we can move that up the list.

Antebellum and Postbellum Mint Superintendents

With most of the COVID concerns behind us we plan to return to the study of the Mint Superintendents in New Orleans.  Last month we resumed this study with the service of Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano who was a pivotal figure in the development and stability of the Mint throughout its life.


Antebellum Superintendents

1837 - 1839 David M. Bradford

1839 - 1850 Joseph M. Kennedy

1850 - 1852 Robert M. McAlpin

1853 - 1857 Charles F. Bienvenu

1857 - 1861 William Augustus Elmore


Postbellum Superintendents

1876 - 1878 Dr. Maximilian Ferdinand Bonzano

1878 - 1879 George Michael Decker Hahn

Web Site Future

Our web site was built and is still maintained with Adobe Muse.  Unfortunately Adobe decided to stop updating and supporting Muse in 2018, so we know we are living on borrowed time.


This site now contains almost 1,600 pages and over 10,000 images.  With each year that passes Adobe gets further from the end of the product and we know that sometime we will hit a brick wall.


At my age it is unlikely that I could ever replicate this effort, so we will enjoy this as long as it goes.

George Michael Decker Hahn

If there was ever a definition of a career politician or government employee, George Michael Decker Hahn might be the poster child.  Hahn was born in Germany and his father died before he was born.  His mother came to America in 1840, settling first in Texas, and then in New Orleans.  His mother died of yellow fever soon thereafter and he was orphaned.  His siblings took over his support and education and must have been excellent mentors.  Hahn eventually graduated from what is now Tulane University with a law degree.

Hahn's public service career began at the age of twenty-two when he was elected to the New Orleans city school board.  He had a prominent role in occupied Louisiana starting in 1862 as a pro-Union politician.  In the New Orleans Riot of 1866 he was shot and wounded.


He served as a member of the U. S. House of Representatives in 1862 and 1863.  He served as the Governor of Louisiana from 1864 to 1865.  Then he went on to serve as a representative to the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1871 to 1878.  Lastly he served in the U. S. House for a second time from 1885 to 1886.


Hahn served briefly as the Superintendent of the New Orleans Mint from 1878 to 1879, perhaps a gift for his war-time service and support of the Union.  This served as a bridge, perhaps a financial bridge, to get him back to the U. S. House in 1885.


Apparently his support for Union causes left him poor as he spent most of his wealth on pro-Union newspapers.  His service to the Mint would have come at a critical time when the Mint was reopening and as we know the first Morgan Dollars were being struck.