Indian Peace Medal issued by President James Garfield, United States of America, 1881. 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

Bare head of the President facing left; around, 'JAMES A. GARFIELD . PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1881'.

Reverse Description

Two figures standing facing each other, on the left a farmer with his hand on a spade indicates a house, with woman and child seated at front door, to an Indian chief who stands beside a tree, in the background a boy ploughs a field; above, PEACE; in exergue, crossed war axe and pipe with olive wreath

Edge Description

The edge is plain

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