USA Coinage: 1845 - 1849
under President: James Knox Polk
 
James Knox Polk (November 02, 1795 June 15, 1849) was the 11th President of the United States (March 04, 1845 March 04, 1849). He previously served as the 13th Speaker of the House of Representatives (December 07, 1835 March 04, 1839) and as 9th Governor of Tennessee (October 14, 1839 October 15, 1841). A protege of Andrew Jackson, Polk was a member of the Democratic Party and an adherent of Jacksonian democracy and Manifest Destiny. During his presidency, the United States expanded significantly with the annexation of Republic of Texas, the Oregon Treaty, and the conclusion of the Mexican-American War.
Polk instructed the Tennessee delegates to support his vice presidential nomination while remaining neutral on the presidency, thus opening up the possibility of a deal between Polk and Van Buren in which Van Buren would choose Polk as his running mate in exchange for the Tennessee delegation's votes for the 1844 Democratic National Convention. Polk's maneuvering was opposed at the national level by two powerful Senators, Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri and James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, both of whom sought a vice president of a lesser stature so as to clear the way for their own respective presidential candidacies in 1848. The potential annexation of the Republic of Texas by President John Tyler upended the presidential race; while Van Buren and the Whig frontrunner, Henry Clay, opposed the annexation and a potential war with Mexico over the disputed territory, Polk and Andrew Jackson strongly supported territorial acquisition. Disappointed by Van Buren's position, Jackson instead decided to support Polk as the party's presidential candidate in the 1844 election, though Polk was skeptical that he could win that nomination.
The United States presidential election of 1844 was the 15th quadrennial presidential election, held from Friday, November 1, to Wednesday, December 4, 1844. Democrat James K. Polk (49.5%) defeated Whig Henry Clay (48.1%) in a close contest that turned on the controversial issue of slavery expansion through the annexation of the Republic of Texas. James Gillespie Birney of Liberty party took 2.3% votes in the election. When he took office on March 4, 1845, Polk, at 49, became the youngest man at the time to assume the presidency. Polk's inauguration was the first inaugural ceremony to be reported by telegraph and to be shown in a newspaper illustration (in The Illustrated London News).
James K. Polk, having achieved all of his major objectives in one term and suffering from declining health, kept his promise not to seek re-election in 1848. States admitted to the Union during his term were Texas (December 29, 1845), Iowa (December 28, 1846) and Wisconsin (May 29, 1848).
Polk's time in the White House took its toll on his health. Full of enthusiasm and vigor when he entered office, Polk left on March 04, 1849, exhausted by his years of public service. He lost weight and had deep lines on his face and dark circles under his eyes. He is believed to have contracted cholera in New Orleans, Louisiana, on a goodwill tour of the South after leaving the White House. He died of cholera at his new home, Polk Place, in Nashville, Tennessee, at 3:15 pm on June 15, 1849, three months after leaving office. He had never joined any church, but received a deathbed Methodist baptism.
 
 
Currency: Dollar = 100 cents
Monetary System: Penny = Cent, Trime = 3 Cents, Nickel = 5 Cents, Dime = 10 Cents, Quarter = 25 Cents, Half Dollar = 50, Cents, Dollar = 100 Cents, Quarter Eagle = $2.50 Gold, Stella = $4.00 Gold, Half Eagle = $5.00 Gold, Eagle = $10.00 Gold and Double Eagle = $20.00 Gold.
Mint Marks:
C Charlotte, N.C., 1838-1861.
CC Carson City, NV, 1870-1893.
D Dahlonega, GA, 1838-1861.
D Denver, CO, 1906-present.
O New Orleans, LA, 1838-1909.
P Philadelphia, PA, 1793-present (coins without mintmark also belongs to Philadelphia).
S San Francisco, CA, 1854-present.
W West Point, NY, 1984-present.

 

1845
 

KM#67 Cent. Year: 1845. Weight: 10.32 g [10.89 g]. Metal: Bronze (Cu 95%, Sn and Zn 5%). Diameter: 27.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Coin. Mint: Philadelphia, USA. Obverse: Female portrait with "LIBERTY" hair band facing left in the center. 13 stars around the liberty head. Date written at the bottom.

Reverse: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in circular form outside the wreath. "ONE CENT" written in the center surrounded with wreath. Mintage: 3,894,804. Mintage Years: 1839 Petite Head, 1840 Large date, 1840 Small date, 1840 Small date over large 18, 1841 Small date, 1842 Large date, 1842 Small date, 1843 Petite Head small letters, 1843 Petite Head (rev '44) Small head small letters, 1843 Mature Head large letters, 1844, 1844/81, 1845, 1846 Small date, 1846 Medium Date, 1846 Large Date, 1847, 1847/7 (Large 7 over Small 7), 1848 Large date, 1849, 1850, 1851, 1851/81, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855 Slanted 5's, 1855 Upright 5's, 1855 Slanted 5's Knob on Ear, 1856 Slanted 5, 1856 Upright 5, 1857 Large date and 1857 Small date. Engraver: Christian Gobrecht (both sides). No mintmark belongs to Philadelphia mint.

Note: This coin is commonly known by coin collectors as "Liberty Head / Braided Hair Cent". Coin collectors have separated this issue as KM#67.1 with small dates and KM#67.2 for large dates. 1848 issue with small date letters is considered counterfeit. 1840 and 1842 strikes are known with both small and large dates, with little difference in value. A slightly larger Liberty head and larger reverse lettering were used beginning in 1843.

Christian Gobrecht (December 23, 1785 July 23, 1844) was the third Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from December 21, 1840 until his death in July 23, 1844. He was responsible for designing the famous "Seated Liberty" designs, which were in turn the direct inspiration for the design of the Trade Dollar. He also designed the Gobrecht Dollar, which was struck in small quantities from 1836 to 1838 and later inspired the Flying Eagle cent.

 
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