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Faux George Washington peace medal / United States

Essay/Description

A pewter medal made for the Chouteau fur trade company with a bust of George Washington and the words, “George Washington, the Founder of Our Country” on the front. On the back, there is a peace pipe, a tomahawk, clasped hands, and the words, “Peace and Friendship.” government in 1844.

The Chouteau family moved upriver from New Orleans to start a trading post on the banks of the Mississippi River. Their tiny post became the city of St. Louis. For many decades, each generation of Chouteau men traded goods for furs, primarily among the Osage. Chouteau trading posts were located not only in Missouri but also in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Eventually, their posts reached nearly to the Canadian border.

These pieces were made to look like official government medals which the Indians accepted. However, these medals were cast in pewter so as not to compete directly with the federal government. However, in 1844, the Secretary of War banned their medals. It isn’t known how many were made

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Title(s): 
Faux George Washington peace medal
Culture: 
United States
Date: 
circa 1842 - 1943
Period: 
Historic
Materials/Techniques: 
pewter
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
65.7
Department: 
Not On View

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