An American 1862 Abraham Lincoln Indian Peace Medal
Bronze, chestnut colored finish, struck at the United States Mint, obverse illustrating the right-facing bust of Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by the inscription "ABRAHAM LINCOLN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES" and dated "1862" below, engraver marked "S. ELLIS. DEL. SC." (Salathiel Ellis) and marked "PATENTED" at the base of the bust, reverse is engraved by Joseph Willison, illustrating a a Native warrior brave scalping another, the head of an Native woman at the bottom, flanked by a quiver of arrows to the left and a bow and a peace pipe to the right, surrounding a central circle encasing the image of a left-facing Native in feathered headdress plowing a field with a horse leading the way, a depiction of children playing baseball in the background, along with ships in the harbor, a church, a homestead and mountains in the distance, wide raised rim, 75.8 mm, bruised, light contact overall, very fine. In its dark brown hardshelled case of issue, forest green padded velvet inside lid, recessed forest green medal bed with pull tab, scuffed exterior, case fine. Footnote: Peace Medals were instrumental in building relationships with the various Native Tribes. The recipients valued them highly, for they conferred a prestige that was recognized throughout the nation. The Bureau of Indian Affairs considered them crucial and the Presidents for whom they were issued also knew their importance. Many images from the "Old West" show Natives proudly wearing their Peace Medals (sometimes more than one). Generally, bronze medals were not used for presentation purposes, but in some cases, they were silver-plated and either given, sold, or traded away by unscrupulous individuals to unwitting recipients.