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America's First Medals

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MAJOR JOHN STEWART

On the front is an Indian Princess (representing America ) presenting a palm branch to Major Stewart. Her left hand is resting on the American Shield. The legend reads: "Joanni Stewart Cohortis Praefecto, Comitia Americana ? The American Congress to Major John Stewart".On the reverse side is a fortress. In the foreground an American Officer cheering on his men who are following him over the enemy's abatis. The inscription reads: " Stony Point Oppugnatu, XV Jul. MDCCLXXIX ? Stony Point attacked 15th of July 1779". Major Stewart was one of the key officers in the attack on Stony Point and was awarded this medal for said gallantry.

Edited by Taz

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The Libertas Americana medal

On the American victories at Saratoga and Yorktown, 1777 and 1781.

NOT A LIST MEDAL OF THE UNITED STATES MINT

Description

American Liberty--4th of July, 1776.

Reverse

The fearless child was not without the help of gods.

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Franklin's Libertas Americana Medal

The most famous of all American medals is the elegant Libertas Americana (''American Liberty'') medal. It celebrates America's Revolutionary War military victories, specifically the British surrenders at Saratoga (1777) and Yorktown (1781). Benjamin Franklin conceived the idea, as a private project to enhance Franco-American goodwill.

In a letter dated March 4, 1782, Franklin wrote to Robert Livingston, who served with Franklin on the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence:

''This puts me in mind of a medal I have had a mind to strike, since the late great event you gave me an account of, representing the United States by the figure of an infant Hercules in his cradle, strangling the two serpents; and France by that of Minerva, sitting by as his nurse, with her spear and helmet, and her robe specked with a few fleurs de lys. The extinguishing of two entire armies in one war is what has rarely happened, and it gives a presage of the future force of our growing empire.''

A preliminary sketch was drawn by painter Esprit-Antoine Giblein, and the dies were engraved by Augustin Dupr?. The medals were struck at the Paris Mint in 1783, with two specimens struck in gold for presentation to the King and Queen of France. A few others were struck in silver, and the rest in copper.

In a letter dated April 15, 1783, Franklin wrote again to Livingston:

''I have caused to be struck here the medal which I formerly mentioned to you, the design of which you seemed to approve. I enclose one of them in silver, for the President of Congress, and one in copper for yourself; the impression in copper is thought to appear best, and you will soon receive a number for the members. I have presented one to the King, and another to the Queen, both in gold, and one in silver to each of the ministers, as a monumental acknowledgment, which may go down to future ages, of the obligations we are under to this nation. It is mighty well received, and gives general pleasure.''

Franklin also wrote a letter dated September 13, 1783 to the President of the United States Congress, Elias Boudinot of New Jersey:

''I am happy to hear that both the device and workmanship of the medal are approved with you, as they have the good fortune to be by the best judges on this side of the water. It has been esteemed a well-timed, as well as a well-merited, compliment here, and has its good effects. Since the two first which you mention as received, I have sent by different opportunities so many, as that every member of Congress might have one. I hope they are come safe to hand by this time.''

Dupr? is credited with the obverse portrait of Liberty, with her hair flowing freely in the wind, superimposed on a pole topped by a pileus, the helmet-like emblem of freedom. The design symbolized both freedom from slavery, and America's freedom from George III of England.

The assistance of France was invaluable in the triumph over England during the Revolutionary War, and the allegorical reverse design commemorates the struggle. America is depicted as an infant Hercules, strangling two serpents representing the armies of Burgoyne and Cornwallis. He is defended by France, represented as the warrior-goddess Minerva, clad in breastplate and plumed helmet, holding a shield bearing the fleurs de lys of France. She fends off the British lion, which stands with its forepaws upon her shield, its tail between its rear legs, a heraldic symbol of defeat. The dates in the exergue refer to the surrenders of Burgoyne at Saratoga and Cornwallis at Yorktown. The Latin inscription (from Horace, as suggested to Franklin by Sir William Jones) NON SINE DIIS ANIMOSUS INFANS translates as ''the courageous child was aided by the gods.''

Text and pic CO Certified Gold Coins

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Washington- Marquis de Lafayette Medal/Badge

This piece is believed to have been specially made for George Washington in 1784. In 1824, long after Washington?s death in 1799, it was reportedly given by Washington?s adopted daughter to the Marquis de Lafayette, a French nobleman who served as a two-star general in the American Revolutionary army and played an important role in the Revolutionary War against the British.

Whether it is called an ?Order,? a medal, a badge, or an ?eagle,? it features a gold eagle surrounded by a wreath, also made of gold, with an enamel oval object embedded on the eagle?s chest. The Latin inscription in enamel cannot be clearly and unambiguously translated into English. The point that Washington, and other officers, ?risked everything? to fight for the cause of American independence is paramount. The cataloguers state that the dimensions of this ?Order? are 1.5 by 1.125 inches, and, with its clasp and original ribbon, it is 5.5 inches long. The Society for the Cincinnati arranged for badges (Orders) to be manufactured in France.

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Pay Roll of Capt Abner Priors Company 5th Connecticut Regiment of Foot Commanded by Philip B. Bradley Col. for Jan 7 1780

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On ‎2008‎-‎07‎-‎12 at 18:28, Bear said:

Hello,

 

These medals are reproductions that can be purchased on Ebay. I doubt that I would be able to find any originals so these will have to do. These were my grandfathers.

 

It also comes with a nice book on the medals.

z21.jpg

Just going through some old threads......

Take a look here......

Mike

 

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