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Victorian silver peace medal / European

Essay/Description

A Queen Victoria silver medal. The front has the words, “Victoria Regina,” and features a bust of the queen. The back inscription reads, “Indian Treaty No. 6, 1876,” and has the figures of an Englishman and a Native Amercian shaking hands.

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 behavior. The practice was discontinued in the late 1800s.

Native A

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Title(s): 
Victorian silver peace medal
Culture: 
European
Date: 
1876
Period: 
Historic
Place: 
England
Materials/Techniques: 
silver
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
65.52
Department: 
Not On View

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