While the U.S. was still in recovery from the pangs of Civil War, more territorial wars sprouted with the ever driving westward expansion that occurred in the late 1800s. In fact, the newly inaugurated president, Rutherford Hayes, passed the Compromise of 1877 to end reconstruction in the south and work the separated states back into the Union. On the western-most boundaries, frontiersmen found frequent battles upon moving into Native American territory. One particular war, the Nez Perce War which occurred in the North-Eastern parts of what is now Oregon and Montana, began and ended in 1877 with the chief’s heartbreaking surrender.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia mint received five-hundred dollars in allocated funds to construct an assay laboratory right in the Mint Director’s office. This would certainly prove beneficial, especially when testing the bronze composition on which there 1877 Indian Head Coins were struck. This lab, which was finally established in 1885, continued use for another ninety years.