The Congressional Act of March 3, 1845 authorized the first U.S. postal stamps and set the local prepaid letter rate at five cents. This rate was very unpopular as large cents were inconvenient and unpopular for citizens. Six years later the postage rate was reduced to three cents when Senator Daniel Dickinson championed legislation to mint a three-cent piece to create ease of commerce. In 1854, that same logic was applied and Mint Director Robert Patterson convinced congress that a three dollar gold coin would speed the purchase of three-cent stamps by the sheet. As such, the three dollar gold coin was born, designed by Chief Engraver James Longacre.