Peace Medal, American Indian, issued by President Thomas Jefferson, United States of America, 1801. This medal is also part of a series also known as Presidential Medals. Peace medals played a significant role in relations between the United States government and population Indigenous to North America (the terms Native American and American Indian are also used by government and cultural institutions in the USA).
Following the British and French practice of handing out silver medals to tribal chiefs, George Washington began a policy of presenting peace medals to American Indian leaders at treaty signings and other formal ceremonies. Every subsequent American president from Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Harrison is represented on an American Indian peace medal, with the exception of William Henry Harrison. The medals were often produced in different sizes according to the rank of the recipients.
This example is a bronze replica created by the Philadelphia federal mint using the original dies. The series began in 1842 with the Thomas Jefferson medal.
A draped bust of the President facing left; around, TH. JEFFERSON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES A.D. 1801
The hands of a military officer and an Indian chief clasped; above, crossed war axe and pipe; legend, divided by images, PEACE / AND / FRIENDSHIP
The edge is plain
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), United States of America: Government
Philadelphia (Mint), United States of America, 1801
Original Jefferson Peace medals (about 89 pieces) were distributed by the Lewis and Clark expedition. They were struck in silver, obverse and reverse seperate and held together with a silver band. There were 5 different sizes, the more important the tribal lrader the larger the size of the medal. This example was probably struck in the late 1870s. For details: http://lewis-clark.org/content/content-article.asp?ArticleID=350
Type of item
52 mm (Outside Diameter)
[Book] Snowden, James R. 1861. The Medallic Memorials of Washington in the Mint of the United States., 95 Pages