Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, uncle of A. Louden Snowden. Attended Dickenson College. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1828. Married to Susan Engle Patterson on September 13, 1848. They had two sons and three daughters.
He was elected to the state legislature of Pennsylvania serving 1838 to 1844. He was Speaker of the House of Representatives 1842 to 1844. In 1845 he was elected treasurer of the State of Pennsylvania. In 1848 appointed Treasurer of the United States Mint. He returned to private practice 1850 to 1853.
Snowden was appointed Director of the Mint by President Pierce serving June 1853 to April 1861. He established the mint collection of Washington medals and had medals struck as trading material. He resigned to accept an appointment with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and served there until 1873. He died at Hulmesville, Pennsylvania. In 2002 he was inducted into the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame.
Author of A Description of Ancient and Modern Coins in the Cabinet Collection at the Mint of the United States in 1860. Author of A Description of the Medals of Washington; of National and Miscellaneous Medals; and of Other Objects of Interest in the Museum of the Mint in 1861.
Snowden appears on a mint medal (Julian MT-3) with dies by Anthony Paquet. Modern copies (USM 303) were produced by the Mint.
bio: *ApCAB; DAB; *Drake; Evans; Failor; NCAB 13; *TCBDA; WWWA-H (*give year as 1810)
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A description of ancient and modern coins, in the cabinet collection at the Mint of the United States
A guide to the Mint Cabinet contents as of 1860, along with a short introduction on the technological history of coin production. By this time the Mint Cabinet had substantial and varied holdings of ancient, foreign, and United States material. The pictorial plates are on embossed paper with gold, silver, and copper coloring applied.