Summary

Indian Peace Medal issued by President James Buchanan, United States of America, 1857. This medal is a copper strike presented to the Museum by the US Government pre-1924, possibly at an International Exhibition. Peace medals played a significant role in relations between the United States government and the Native American population.

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 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.

Obverse Description

A draped bust of the President facing right; around, JAMES BUCHANAN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1857.

Reverse Description

Two figures standing facing each other, on the left a farmer with his hand on a plough and axe resting on the plough, at right an Indian Chief with arms foulded; in immediate background behind figures, the US flag; in far backround, a farm at left and a tree with Indian tent on right; above, LABOR VIRTUE HONOR

Edge Description

The edge is plain

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