The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 18, May 3, 2015, Article 13


Anne Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society writes:

Readers who visit Boston this summer will have the chance to view the gold Comitia Washington Before Boston medal on display at the Boston Public Library in an exhibition titled We Are One.

Thanks! Here's some more information from the library site. -Editor

We Are One We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence

May 2 through November 29 2015 – Boston
2016 - Colonial Williamsburg
2017 - New-York Historical Society

Opening May 2, 2015, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center will present an exhibition that commemorates the 250th anniversary of Britain’s 1765 Stamp Act. This pivotal moment sparked American opposition to Britain’s restrictive colonial policies, particularly taxation without representation, which was established to help pay for troops stationed in the colonies during the French and Indian War (1756-1763). Protestors in Boston hung one of the tax collectors in effigy on an elm tree near the Boston Common. The tree became known as the Liberty Tree, and the loose organization of protestors were known as the Sons of Liberty. This early opposition throughout the colonies to British imperial control set the stage for growing opposition to British rule during the next ten years, resulting in the American Revolutionary War.

We Are One maps the American road to independence. It explores the tumultuous events that led thirteen colonies to join to forge a new nation. The exhibition takes its title from Benjamin Franklin’s early design for a note of American currency containing the phrase “We Are One.” This presaged the “E Pluribus Unum” found on the seal of the United States, adopted in 1782, and on all U.S. coins.

Using geographic and cartographic perspectives, the exhibition traces the American story from the strife of the French and Indian War to the creation of a new national government and the founding of Washington, D.C. as its home. Exhibited maps and graphics show America’s early status as a British possession: thirteen colonies in a larger trans-Atlantic empire. During and after the French and Indian War, protection of those thirteen colonies exhausted Britain economically and politically, and led Parliament to pass unpopular taxes and restrictions on her American colonial subjects. The Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and limits on colonial trade and industry incited protests and riots in Boston, as contemporaneous portrayals in the exhibition show.

When tensions between Britain and her American colonies erupted into war, British cartographers and other witnesses depicted military campaigns, battles, and their settings. These maps, drawings, and military artifacts now bring the long, bloody struggle for independence to life.

There is an online version of the exhibit available for browsing. Here's the entry for the Washington Before Boston medal. -Editor

Washington Before Boston gold medal obverse Washington Before Boston gold medal reverse

In 1776 Congress voted to honor George Washington with a gold medal for ending the siege of Boston and forcing the British troops to evacuate. They commissioned a French engraver to create the medal, which was minted in 1789. On the hundredth anniversary of the evacuation, Bostonians purchased it from Washington’s heirs and donated it to the Boston Public Library. The medal features a profile of Washington on one side and a group of officers watching the British troops leave the city on the other. The profile portrait alludes to ancient Roman and Greek coins, artifacts of societies that influenced the new American government.

To read the complete article, see:
We Are One 54 (

For more information, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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