Robert E. Preston

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Robert E. Preston (born 1836) was Director of the United States Mint from 1893 to 1898.


Preston was born in Bean Station, Tennessee in 1836.[1] In 1856, United States Secretary of the Treasury James Guthrie appointed Preston to a clerkship in the office of the first auditor.[1] He rose through the ranks in that office and was responsible for auditing the accounts of the United States Mint.[1]

When the Mint Bureau was created by the Coinage Act of 1873, Henry Linderman, the Director of the United States Mint, encouraged Preston to join the Mint Bureau.[2] Preston served as Computer of Bullion, Assay Clerk, Adjuster of Accounts, and Mint Examiner.[2] At several times, he served as Acting Director of the United States Mint in the absence of Linderman and his successors, Horatio C. Burchard and James P. Kimball.[2]

In 1893, President of the United States Grover Cleveland named Preston Director of the United States Mint.[3] Preston's appointment was strictly on the basis of merit; with the Free Silver question raging, Cleveland wanted to appoint a nonpartisan as Mint Director.[3] Preston held office from November 1893 until February 1898.


  1. ^ a b c Alfred Sidney Johnson, Clarence A. Bickford, William W. Hudson, & Nathan Haskell Dole, The Cyclopedic Review of Current History (1894), Vol. 3, p. 499
  2. ^ a b c George Greenlief Evans, Illustrated History of the United States Mint (1898), p. 87
  3. ^ a b "The New Mint Director", New York Times, Sept. 28, 1893
Government offices
Preceded by
Edward O. Leech
Director of the United States Mint
November 1893 – February 1898
Succeeded by
George E. Roberts