ANS will repatriate peace medal held since 1915
- Published: Jul 15, 2022, 8 AM
The American Numismatic Society is seeking to repatriate a silver Abraham Lincoln Indian peace medal struck by the U.S. Mint that has been in the society’s collection since 1915 after its removal three years before from the site of a Pawnee Nation burial ground in Nebraska.
The 75.1-millimeter medal is attributed as Julian IP-38 in R.W. Julian’s Medals of the United States Mint, The First Century, 1792–1892.
The 1862 medal’s obverse depicts a portrait right of Lincoln by sculptor and medalist Salathiel Ellis, and the reverse is designed by Joseph Willson.
The reverse has a central vignette of a rural scene with an Indian plowing and with children in the background playing baseball, along with a school, church, etc. A scalping scene arcs above, flanked by a quiver of arrows, bow and tomahawk. The head of a Native American woman appears below.
The National Park Service on behalf of the ANS posted notice on the Federal Register June 27 of the society’s intent to repatriate the medal to the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma.
Any competing claims have until July 27 to be filed.
A.C. Parker reported in the March 1913 edition of the American Numismatic Association journal, The Numismatist, of the circa 1912 discovery in Genoa, Nebraska, by village contractor John Vaught, of the medal 3 feet deep while repairing water lines.
Parker wrote it is believed the Lincoln medal was buried sometime between 1862 and 1868 with its owner, a Pawnee Indian chief. The medal’s obverse has a slight dent near the rim where it was hit by Vaught’s shovel.
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