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V13 2010 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 4, January 24, 2010, Article 12

MORE ON THE COMITIA AMERICANA MEDALS

John W. Adams, author of Comitia Americana and Related Medals writes:

Last week's E-Sylum contained an extract on the Washington Before Boston medal, the original article having been composed by the Special Collections staff at Notre Dame. Despite such illustrious authorship, the piece contains two major mistakes.

First, the COMITIA AMERICANA medals were not first made in 1790; indeed all except the one struck for John Paul Jones were made earlier, including Fleury (1780), Gates (1787), Greene (1787) and the others save for Jones in 1789.

A more curious mistake concerns the restrikes which were said by Notre Dame to have been made in gold as well as other metals. I have long suspected that Colonel Fleury cozened either Franklin or Du Vivier into striking an unauthorized example in gold but, otherwise, the use of that metal was limited strictly to specimens specifically awarded by Congress.

Franklin (in the case of Fleury) and Jefferson (in the case of Jones) are on record as stating the limits to their authority. Ironically, the U.S. Government was later to break its own rules when, after the French had transferred the original dies in 1939, it used the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Jones' birth in 1947 to make a gold medal replacing Jones' medal which had been lost AND two others.

Washington before Boston medal obverse Washington before Boston medal reverse

R.W. Julian writes:

"I saw the note about mint medals that derived from the Notre Dame website. It will perhaps be of interest to readers of The E-Sylum that the Paris Mint did not furnish hubs or punches as stated on that website. In point of fact Director James Pollock ordered certain of the Revolutionary War medals from the Paris Mint and some of these were used to make dies at the Philadelphia Mint."

Thanks, everyone, for the corrections and clarifications. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: FEATURED WEB PAGE: WASHINGTON BEFORE BOSTON MEDAL (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n03a18.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

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To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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