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The U.S. Mint Oath of Allegiance of Sept 2, 1861 - Julian CM-2

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,900 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 3, 2023 9:25PM in U.S. Coin Forum

While in the search of a wreath, I ran across the following interesting medal.

Is there any information on the Oath of Allegiance that was so important to take and commemorate?


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    mustanggtmustanggt Posts: 2,636 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is all I found but it does mention a 1970 US Mint restrike. Neat Medal

    1861 US - Washington Constitution Obligatory - Philadelphia Mint Allegiance Medal by Anthony Paquet. Obverse: �THE CONSTITUTION IS SACREDLY OBLIGATORY ON ALL" - Undraped bust facing right. Reverse: U.S. MINT / OATH OF ALLEGIANCE / TAKEN BY THE / OFFICERS AND WORKMEN / SEPT. 2. 1861 / JAS. POLLOCK, DIR. � Six line legend surrounded by olive branch wreath. UNC, Bronze, 30.4 mm, plain smooth edge, probably a 1970�s restrike by the US Mint. This medal was designed by the engraver Anthony C. Paquet and struck at the Philadelphia mint to commemorate the completion of the requirement that all mint personnel swear an oath of allegiance to the constitution. The requirement was completed about five weeks after the union defeat in the first battle at Bull Run (July 21, 1861).

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    mustanggtmustanggt Posts: 2,636 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,900 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 8, 2023 11:23PM

    Great article!

    Here's a relevant bit which indicates this medal is the direct result of the Confederacy striking coins at the New Orleans Mint.

    ATS said:
    In fact, the Confederate States of America struck nearly 40% of the mintage of 1861-O half dollars – 962,633 coins. Most are indistinguishable from a normal 1861-O half dollar issued under the United States government.

    Some, however, such as the one below, have a small die crack from Liberty’s nose to the rim. This die crack is also seen on pattern half dollars issued by the Confederate States of America that combined the Seated Liberty obverse with a new Confederate reserve design.

    The fact that this same die was used on an official Confederate States half dollar proves that the coin below, along with any other 1861-O half dollar with the die crack, was struck under direction of the Confederacy.

    Clearly, the fact that the New Orleans Mint employees and officers stayed in their positions to strike coins for the Confederacy was a huge embarrassment to Mint officials in Philadelphia. In response to these events, all US Mint employees were asked to swear an oath to the Constitution. In addition to saving face in the public eye, Mint Director James Pollack hoped that the oath would help to eliminate any southern sympathizers.

    1861 US Mint Loyalty Medal, close up of Paquet signatureIn honor of this oath taken by the employees on September 9, 1861, commemorative medals were struck with dies fashioned by famous engraver Anthony C. Paquet. These medals featured the bust of Washington on the obverse, and were clearly quite popular considering their relative availability today.

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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins... Another interesting piece from a significant historical time in American history. Cheers, RickO

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    retirednowretirednow Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Did not know recall this piece of mint history.
    I also find it interesting the amount of designs that were recycled ... the bust of Washington used over the years but this specific one looks identical to the 2C and 5 cent patterns struck in 1863 and 1866 respectively.

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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,560 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Some additional information on the medal from a well-known researcher.

    April 10, 2023

    The obverse was created by Anthony Paquet for the inauguration of the “Washington Cabinet of Medals” Feb 22, 1860 at the Philadelphia Mint. The same portrait was used on the Allegiance medal of Sept. 2, 1861 and later on several pattern pieces. On Dec. 29 Paquet was paid $30.00 “for die & hub for second reverse of allegiance medal.”

    These were made in “size 18” (28.575 mm; 1-1/8 inch) and sold for $1.12 in coin silver and 5-cents in bronze. The “Medal and Pattern Coin Book” (E-111A) shows that 50 silver and 250 bronze allegiance medals were delivered on Nov. 8. The “Medal Fund” journal reports the first sale on November 14, 1861. Thereafter, they are among the most popular medals from the Mint’s circulars. (Circulars show the silver medal priced at $1.00. Presumably the extra 12-cents was for postage, registration, etc.).

    The Medal Fund journal also shows on Dec 3 the Coiner obtained $14.89 in gold to make 1 allegiance medal. On page 11 of the “Medal and Pattern Coin Book” this is described as “Allegiance Medal (obverse as above with blank wreath reverse, 1 Gold (Value of gold $15.44.) For Mr. Myers.” Page 12 has an entry for Jan. 17, 1862 six (6) silver were prepared with either a blank reverse or “with wreath but no inscription.” “Mr. Myers” was possibly collector George A. Myers of Richmond, VA who was very interested in Washington medals and tokens.

    The Coiner charged 80.05 cents for silver and 11.5 cents for labor making the cost of each allegiance medal 91.6 cents for silver versions


    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.

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