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James Madison peace medal, 2nd size / United States


A James Madison silver medal. On the front, there is a bust of the president and the words, “James Madison President of the U.S. A.D. 1809.” The back features two clasped hands, two crossed pipes, and the words, “Peace and Friendship.”

James Madison was inaugurated in 1809 but a peace medal bearing his likeness was not available until 1814, just three years before he left office at the end of his second term.
The medal continues the general design of the Jefferson medal, both front and back. However, a small but important change was made on the reverse. The American arm continues to be partially covered by a military jacket sleeve. In the Madison version, the Indian’s arm is bare; no longer covered with an emblem of the federal eagle. Symbolically, the change represented the freedom of Indian people from government control. Actual relations did not support the symbolism.

Silver peace medals were given to influential Native Americans as a symbol of friendship and allegiance

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James Madison peace medal, 2nd size
United States
circa 1809
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
6526.39; 65.39
Not On View

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