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The Indian Peace Medal

Travel favors from Lewis and Clark
In continuation of a long established tradition begun by the Spanish and continued by the English and French, Native American leaders expected to receive medals and gifts. If they didn't receive them, they would not take the emissaries seriously. Meriwether Lewis or William Clarke handed this Indian Peace medal to a Native American leader during the 1804-06 Lewis and Clark expedition across America. Featuring President Thomas Jefferson on one side and two hands clasped in friendship on the other, these silver medals were distributed as gifts from the United States government to the Native American tribes that Lewis and Clarke met during their expedition.

Date of coin, 1801; Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809); William Clark (1770-1838)
Meriwether Lewis, born August 18, 1774, near Charlottesville, VA; died October 11, 1809, near Nashville, TN
William Clark, born August 1, 1770, Caroline County, VA; died September 1, 1838, St. Louis, MO

Learn more!
· Westward Expansion
· The Lewis and Clark Expedition
· Thomas Jefferson, Third President, 1801-1809
· National Numismatic Collection, NMAH

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