Benjamin Harrison Indian Peace Medal on Presentation Collar, 1889

Presented is an original Benjamin Harrison presidential peace medal. This bronze medal was originally struck by the U.S. Mint in 1889 as a peace offering to the various Native American tribes in the U.S.

The obverse of the medal has a raised relief side profile bust of President Harrison, with the text "Benjamin Harrison President U.S.A. 1889". The reverse of the medal has the word "PEACE" at top, with a scene of a settler and Native American talking in front of a log cabin. Below, a crossed tomahawk and peace pipe are enclosed by a wreath of laurel leaves. The medal is displayed on a blue velvet presentation collar with gold striped edging and light purple fabric on the reverse. The medal is attached under a blue fabric covered button.

Following the British and French practice of handing out silver medals to tribal chiefs, President 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 a presidential peace medal, with the exception of William Henry Harrison. Such medals were intended to curry favor, as well as to serve the political purpose of reminding the Native Americans that the government in Washington expected peaceful coexistence, or perhaps acquiescence, depending on the point of view.  The medals were often produced in different sizes, shapes, and metals, according to the rank of the recipients.

This medal was originally struck by the U.S. Mint in 1889. The engraver of the obverse is Charles E. Barber and the engraver of the reverse is George T. Morgan.


Bronze medal, on original blue velvet presentation collar. Medal shows light tarnish and wear, from past use. Surface dirt around raised relief profile. Engraver inscription on obverse, on bust truncation, at right: "C.E. BARBER F." Engraver inscription on reverse, on exergual line, at right: "M." Collar with some light dust and surface dirt. Wear along the folds at the collar. Blue velvet is still vibrant in color, moderate fading to gold striped edging. Dimensions: Oval Medal: 3” H x 2 1/4" W.  Collar: 30" L x 12" W.

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