Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace Medal
John Matthias Reich
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890
In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, silver peace medals were presented to Native leaders by presidents or their representatives as a sign of friendship and the promise that the U.S. government would honor treaties. Tragically, every treaty was broken, changed, or nullified when it served the government’s interests. For many Native people, peace medals came to symbolize broken promises. For others, they became status objects that were incorporated into traditional ornaments.
Gift of F. Ethel Wickham in memory of her father, W. Hull Wickham
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
John Matthias Reich (American, born Germany, 1768-1833). Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace Medal, ca. 1801. Silver, Diameter: 4 in. (10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of F. Ethel Wickham in memory of her father, W. Hull Wickham, 49.135.4. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 49.135.4_front_PS2.jpg)
front, 49.135.4_front_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Silver peace medal or "gorget." Circular medallion with molded outer edge, struck in low relief. Obverse: bust of Thomas Jefferson with legend "TH. JEFFERSON PRESIDENT OF THE US AD 1801". Reverse: two clasped hands, one with medal wristband and one with buttoned cuff, crossed pipe and tomahawk above, surrounding legend "PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP." Top has double loop for chain attachment.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.