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A.C. Paquet - Another claimant for Engraver of the U.S.

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:10 am
by RogerB
Here is another letter of recommendation the the vacant Engraver's position in 1879. This time, from an acquaintance of Anthony C. Paquet. (The spelling "Pacquet" is occasionally seen in correspondence, but the artist signed his name "Paquet.") I transcribed this letter because the original handwriting might be difficult for many to interpret.

West Philadelphia
September 30, 1879
Honorable H. C. Burchard
Director of the Mint
Dear Sir:
I learned last evening that Mr. Barber, Engraver of the Mint had died during my absence, and that his successor had not yet been appointed, and I avail myself of the earliest moment to say to you that I hope a successor will not be appointed without the fullest consideration of the claims of my friend A. C. Pacquet [sic], who I have long believed to be the most capable man in the U. S. for that position.

It is very little that our Government can do legitimately for the promotion of art, but it can remember and ought to, that, in its coins, it transmits, if we may judge from the past, enduring testimony of the state of the arts at given periods to the most remote generations. Those generations will probably not know that our government imported specially from another land a gentleman to design and engrave the dies for the new emissions of standard dollars, but they will see the eagle which afflicts it. All this you may say is sentimental, and therefore I beg leave to say something on the practical question.

That Mr. Pacquet would reduce the excuses of the engravers department while improving its work I have no doubt. He is a genius, but without the eccentricities that so often accompany that gift. Apart from the pleasures of social life enjoyed with his wife and children, he finds his only recreation in work. And, although my early vocation made me familiar with die sinkers and engravers in steel, I have never known Mr. Pacquets’ [sic] superior, or one who could do so much work to the day throughout a given period. On both points, therefore, the sentimental and the practical, I commend Mr. Pacquet to your consideration and that of the Department without reserve.

While writing you, permit me to suggest that you obtain from the Congressional Library, to which you have access, the recent work of Ernest Seyd, F.S.S. entitled “The Decline of Prosperity: Its insidious Cause, and Obvious Remedy,” which is, Mr. Shafford tells me, already on the shelves of the Library. Meanwhile I remain
Yours very truly
/s/ William D. Harvey