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Andrew Johnson peace medal, 1st size / United States

Essay/Description

An Andrew Johnson silver peace medal. The front has a bust of President Andrew Johnson and the inscription reads, “Andrew Johnson President of the United States 1865.” The back features two men, one a Native American, shaking hands with a representation of America, in front of the bust of George Washington.

Silver peace medals were given to influential Native Americans as a symbol of friendship and allegiance with the United States government or foreign power. Medals were given on important occasions, like the signing of a treaty, and then only to very influential members of the tribe. The medals held even greater importance than normal during times of war or tension, particularly between the US and Great Britain. The countries would compete for the loyalty and friendship of the tribes, and a chief trading in British medal for a US one signified a change in loyalty (Prucha 2000, xiv). Gradually, the medals original meaning diminished, and they were given as rewards for good be

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Title(s): 
Andrew Johnson peace medal, 1st size
Culture: 
United States
Date: 
circa 1865
Period: 
Historic
Materials/Techniques: 
silver
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
65.45
Department: 
Not On View

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