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Jefferson Peace Medal

It was common practice for European governments to give medals to Indian leaders to seal alliances. Continuing this tradition, the Corps of Discovery left St. Louis with nearly ninety of these items packed with their luggage. They carried medals in at least four sizes and distributed them liberally to their hosts. Most of the medals the Americans carried were the so-called Jefferson medals, which carried the image of the third president on one side and the motto “Peace and Friendship” on the reverse. A certificate attesting to the recipient’s good character was usually given with each medal.

John Reich, engraver. Jefferson Peace and Friendship Medal, 1801.

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Newberry Library

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Newberry Library