Treaty of Easton, Peace Medal, American Indian, issued by King George II, United States of America, 1757. Engraved by Edward Duffin, Philadelphia. This medal was the first peace medal made in America. It was commissioned and presented by the Friendly Association, a group of Pennsylvania Quakers that attempted to mediate negotiations between Delaware American Indians and the Pennsylvania Assembly. Benjamin Franklin and members of the Friendly Association distributed these medals to Native Americans as tokens of goodwill at the Treaty of Easton in 1757. This example was prepared at the Philadelphia Mint from the original, but badly broken, dies in the late 1870s. Peace medals played a significant role in relations between the United States government and the 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.

Obverse Description

A draped and laureate bust of the King facing left; around, GEORGIVS II DEI GRATIA.

Reverse Description

Two figures seated at left and right of a camp fire, a white man wearing hat on the right presents a calumet of peace (Peace Pipe) which the American Indian on the left is reaching for; above the Indian the sun watches; behind the white man, a tree; around, LET US LOOK TO THE MOST HIGH WHO BLESSED OUR FATHERS WITH PEACE; below scene, 1757.

Edge Description

The edge is plain

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