31 May 2023

Duncan Nathaniel Ingraham – Rescue of Martin Koszta

Medals | World_Coin_Nut

Over the last several years more and more of my collecting budget is being used on historical medals from both the United States and around the world. Many of these purchases would be considered impulse buys with little or no research done prior to the transaction. I see it, tell myself, that is both neat and it is within my budget, so let’s get it. Keep in mind that there is no “Red Book” for medals. There isn’t even anything equivalent to the Krause world coin catalogs. I use my gut to guide me on many of these purchases. I have had a few hiccups along the way but haven’t ever really been burned.One recent purchase is the subject of this article. The “Rescue of Martin Koszta” medal is an impressive 105mm bronze medal. The imagery is very appealing to me. Medalists have a lot more freedom to create beautiful works of art than do the artists that create our circulating coinage.First, let’s talk about the medal and events that led up to its creation.Duncan Ingraham(picture #2) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on December 6th, 1802. His father was a friend of John Paul Jones and was in the action with the British brig Serapis, and his uncle, Captain Joseph Ingraham, was lost at sea in the United States ship Pickering. Duncan Nathaniel entered the United States navy as a midshipman in June 1812, and became lieutenant, April 1818; commander, May 1838; and captain, September 1855. While commanding the sloop-of-war St. Louis (picture #4), in the Mediterranean he interfered at Smyrna, in July 1853, with the Austrian consul's detention of Martin Koszta. Koszta had resided nearly two years in the United States and declared his intention of becoming an American citizen. He had come to Smyrna, in Greece, from New York on business intending soon to return, but on June 21st, 1853, he was seized by a party of armed Greeks that were employed by the Austrian consul-general and confined on board the Hussar. After learning the facts from the prisoner Captain Ingraham addressed a letter on this subject to John P. Brown, the charge d'affaires of the United States in Constantinople, who gave the official opinion that the surrender of Koszta should be demanded. On July 2nd, at 8 a.m., Captain Ingraham claimed of the Austrian commander the release of Koszta by 4 p. m. declaring that he would otherwise take him by force. At the same time the decks of the St Louis were cleared for action, and all was made ready for an attack on the Hussar, which was much her superior in size and armament. At 11 A. M. the Austrian consul-general proposed to deliver Koszta to the French consul and be held by him subject to the disposition of the United States and Austrian consuls. This was accepted by Captain Ingraham as giving sufficient assurance of the personal safety of the Hungarian. Koszta was soon released and returned to the United States. This affair gave rise to an elaborate discussion in Washington between Secretary William L. Marcy and M. Hulsemann. The conduct of Captain Ingraham was fully approved by the United States government and on August 4th, 1854, congress, by joint resolution, requested the president to present him with a medal. In March 1856 he was appointed chief of the bureau of ordnance and hydrography of the navy department. When the civil war began, in 1861, he was in command of the flagship Richmond in the Mediterranean. He resigned his commission and entered the Confederate naval service. He served as chief of ordnance, construction, and repair, and in which he rose to the rank of commodore. He served in every war since the Revolution and is said to be the only survivor of those that entered the navy in 1812.Description:"1854" (1855) Commander Duncan Ingraham / Rescue of Martin Koszta Medal. Original Large Size. By James Barton Longacre and Peter Cross(obverse). Draftsman Seth Eastman. Julian NA-26. Bronze. 105 mm. These were also struck in a much more commonly available 3” size.Bronze struck medallion with obverse showing the American and Austrian ships at anchor in the harbor of Smyrna, Turkey; inscription in center exergue: "SMYRNA./AMERICAN AUSTRIAN/SLOOP OF WAR BRIG OF WAR/ST LOUIS, HUSSAR." Reverse bears inscription surrounded by wreath of laurel and oak branches with eagle and stars below: "PRESENTED/BY THE/PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES/TO/COMMANDER DUNCAN N. INGRAHAM/AS A TESTIMONIAL OF THE HIGH SENSE/ENTERTAINED BY CONGRESS/OF HIS GALLANT AND JUDICIOUS CONDUCT/ON THE 2d OF JULY 1853./JOINT RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS AUGUST 4th 1854."This seems like a relatively minor event to result in the production of a congressional gold medal. Captain Duncan stood his ground against a much more heavily armed opponent and got them to back down. I’m not trying to get political, but can you imagine something like this happening in modern times? The United States threatened military action to recover someone that wasn’t a US citizen.A little background information: Martin Koszta, a man of Hungarian birth, had taken part in the political movement of 1848-49 to separate Hungary from the Austrian Empire. He fled to Turkey, then emigrated to the United States. In July 1852, he made a declaration under oath of his intention to become a citizen of the United States and, at the same time, renounced all allegiance to any foreign power.The so called Koszta Affair in 1853 was the name applied to a diplomatic episode between the United States and the Austrian Empire involving the rights in foreign countries of new Americans who were not yet fully naturalized.It sounds like Koszta had earned some political power and probably had some high-ranking friends in D.C. Whether it was justified or not is not up to me irrelevant to this article.The names that signed the medal caught my attention as much as the subject matter. Longacre and Cross are familiar to me, but Eastman was a new name for me to see on a medal. The fact that Eastman was described as the “draftsman” I thought was odd as well.James B. Longacrewas chief engraver for the U. S. Mint from 1844 until his death in 1869. Best known for creating the flying eagle and Indian head cents.Peter Filatreu Crosswas an assistant engraver to James B. Longacre at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Cross was born in New York City to William Cross and Hannah Woods Cross. Despite Mint records stating that he died in 1856, he appears in the 1860 U.S. Census in Philadelphia. He married Harriet Chapin and had one child; a daughter named Maria.He is best known for his work on the reverse of the 1849 1-dollar gold coin. The value of gold required the coin to be so small that too many people were losing them, so it had to be redesigned. He also designed medals of the period, including this medal.Cross died on October 13th, 1862, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is buried at Lawnview Cemetery in Rockledge, Pennsylvania.Seth Eastman(picture #3) was an artist and West Point graduate who served in the US Army, first as a mapmaker and illustrator. He had two tours at Fort Snelling, Minnesota Territory. During the second tour he was commanding officer of the fort. In 1870 Congress commissioned Eastman to create a series of 17 paintings of important U.S. forts, to be hung in the meeting rooms of the House Committee on Military Affairs. He completed the paintings in 1875. Eight still hang in the Senate Wing.The most significant commission of Eastman’s artistic career was a project sponsored by the United States government to illustrate the text to Historical and Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. The six-volume publication took Eastman five years to illustrate and affirmed his status as a historian of the American Indian. As John Francis McDermott wrote, “he became the most effective pictorial historian of the Indian in the nineteenth century.”Longacre and Cross engraved the dies based on Eastman’s design. That’s 3 significant names from our history. Unfortunately, I wasn’t familiar with Mr. Eastman prior to finding this medal. His work is readily available for viewing by doing a quick Google search.Any comments are welcome and appreciated.

21 Mar 2023

The Statue Of Liberty

Medals | Mike

Ok my friends. This is the third attempt to write this blog. The third time is a charm! ....Now I went to write this on February 8. Instead I wrote on the reverse. That is how much history this medal has. This is probably one of the greatest statues known.Its on coinage . There must be a million different souvenirs out there. .....The Statue of Liberty Enlightening The World! This was a gift from the French. It was dedicated on October 28,1886. It became a national Monument in 1924. It was designed and built by a few people Frederic Auguste Bartholds. The frame work was done by Gustave Eiffel. Now the statue has seven rays coming from her head they stand for the seven seas and the seven continents. The idea of this statue came from a French historian Eduardo de Labulaye at the close of the civil war.There are many symbols on the statue. The famous poem you all know the end . Give me your tired etc...If you enlarge the bronze plate you can read the whole thing. The writer was Emma Lazarus. The medal was made by the Medallic Art company. There is a massive chain at her feet it is broke at a point. It means we broke from oppression to become a Democracy. The book that she holds has our date of Independence done in Roman numerals. The torch such brings light to the world. By the way it gets hit hundreds of times by lightning during the year. The photo below is one of the most dramatic.Look at the details on the obverse. The small ships the two bridges and the buildings as it would be seen in 1965. ...Of course there were many problems building this massive statue. The weather took its toll and it had to be rebuilt. Kids sent cents donations came from everywhere to keep this beacon of freedom shining its light. Now I left out the politics because there was so much and this is a blog about a statue! I will give you the break down . It was made of Bronze, its weight is 111.9 Diameter is 63.5 and the thickness is 5.2 in. Now I will try and save this. I hope you get to enjoy it. It stayed up!. Wow I hope Pete finds the problem. Please if you get a chance read about this statue. I can't count on the coinage and medals its on. It is a very big reminder of our history. Read Feb 8 blog. Its on the reverse. Plenty of history on this entire medal.They also say the face is that of a pagan god!!And surrounded by 13 stars. One of the best thought out medals including the historical reverse!! Please enlarge the picture of the bronze plate you can read the whole thing!!

08 Feb 2023

The Reverse of a the Statue of Liberty Commemorative 1965.

Medals | Mike

Hi everyone hope all is well. I picked up this medal many years back. I wasn't looking into them but this one was special. Not only does it honor the Statue of Liberty but the reverse honors the Federal Hall National Memorial! Don't stop there That's when New York was Named the Capitol of the U.S.!! Now there is one more thing on this medal it honors the building were Gen. George Washington gave his Inauguration speech as President!! How much more do you need on a medal. I think it was done very well. Now the Spanish and the French were constantly fighting with each other. Sending explorer's to the east coast of the new world. But the Dutch snuck in their also. But first Giovanni da Verrazzano sailing for the French discovered the land called New York today in 1524. Soon to be claimed by the Dutch first land claim in 1609. It seems everyone was looking for N.Y. It gets better. The next explorer was a navigator named Henry Hudson . Lets go back for a small mistake in history. New York built the Longest Expansion bridge in the world at the time and named it after Mr. Verrazzano. Beautiful bridge. This was starred in the 1960's. Here we go it was opened for more than fifty years when someone noticed they spelt his name wrong!!! All the big signs and the little ones wrong. Only in N.Y. Gov. Cuomo had it changed! Cost a ton of money. It connects Brooklyn to Staten Island.. Sorry I had to get that in. Now the Dutch named it New Amsterdam. Now in 1653 it came under British rule. In 1664 it was named New York after king Charles 11 of England granted all the land to his brother the Duke of York. Now you can't be sure I left someone outl it became the 11 State in 7/26/1788. There is one more. Peter Minuit bought it from the Indians in1626 for 24 dollars in fur and other items not trinkets. He named it New Amsterdam One other date I came across Lincoln was not the first to want an end to slavery. It was Benjamin Franklin on February,3,1790. Just had to add that I thought it was interesting! So if you can make all this out your doing better than I am. Please tap on the medal you can see everything it honors! I think I paid 10.00. But it had so much history I just had to have it. Take care stay well.

17 Jan 2023

1876 - Dated J-CM-11 AE58 mm Bown 64

Medals | Mike

Hi everyone. Well this is the third attempt to put this blog up. It gets frustrating so I tried a message and it stayed. Lets see. ..Eric Newman a great collector writer and just about anything else you can add was a great man. He once said "I do not collect medals they have no monetary value." Well he missed this one!! .....First the label.1876 year it was made. J-CM-11 AE 58mm . Now I found most of it. The J stands for R.W Julian. He wrote a book called Medals of the United States Mint 1792-1892. The CM. stands for Commemorative Medal the 11 is a guess that its listed as number 11 or on page 11? Its also 2/4 in diameter. ..The obverse reads in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of American Independence act of congress1874. The reverse reads 1776 these colonies are free and of right ought to be free and Independent states! ...Now they made 7000 of this medal bronze,2100 of copper and 583 of white medal. They came in sets and sold for 11.00 There is one known made of gold. The fourth medal was gilt metal. ..The obverse has Lady Liberty placing wreaths on two figures. One stood for industry and the other art. The reverse has Lady Liberty holding a sword in her right hand. And her left arm reaching towards the 13 stars. ...The medal was designed by William Barber. He hit a home run with this one. Its historic and beautiful. The first Mono rail was shown here! This what we would call a worlds fair today was very big. It was on 3,136 acres. Held in Philadelphia. Countries from all over the world would have A tent or a building to show that newest inventions. It was visited by tens of thousands of people. ..As soon as I saw it at an auction I knew I had go have it. I knew nothing about it but I could tell of its beauty and meaning . So I placed a bid and woke up a winner. One bid. I don't know how people passed this by. There are only 24 higher in this grade. So again I was lucky. Coin collecting can be lucky. Sometimes its like playing the market. .I hope you enjoyed this blog. If its doesn't take I give up!

14 Dec 2022

Encampment Of The Grand Army of The Republic

Medals | Mike

Hi everyone. Hope all is well. I came across this medal and was very curious. I started to look it up. I couldn't find it anywhere. Why? Well its not a medal its a Badge as it was called. The Grand Army of the Republic use to have encampments! It was a basically a reunion of all those who survived or were wounded during the civil war. It was founded in 1866. The badge below is from the 1894 reunion in Pittsburgh. They had medals also. Many different types.This was the 28 encampment. ...Now they had these every year. It ended in 1949. There were 16 members left. It was dissolved in 1956.The last one was in Indianapolis, Indiana. The last member was Albert Woolson He died in 1956 at the age of 109. The whole encampment idea was started by Benjamin F. Stephenson. Now on the back you see allot of words. It has numbers also. It starts 40,9745. Soldier's Entertained in this Hall. 7,9460 sick. The other side says Wounded Provided For At Soldier's home 499205. Now this is something I had never herd of. They would parade through the streets and every survivor was taken care of. The numbers tell the story. They didn't forget what happened. They met friends from different battles. They would laugh and they also cried over there friends that had passed. I think this was a wonderful idea. Even those who couldn't make it were taken care of. And it led up to a day called Memorial Day. The two coins are imporrtant. The first one is from Gettysburg . It has a statement from Joshua Chamberland the hero of Little Roundtop!. The second coin is Antietam. The bloodiest day in our country's history. The first Badge is of one that was taken care of.the second is mine. It has the city's crest in the middle the third one is what the whole badge looked like. And the last one is the reverse of mine. So they took good care of there soldiers. We remember them all the time. But this was them taken care of each other. I hope you enjoyed this little bit of history. Thanks Mike.

05 Nov 2022

Often Overlooked

Medals | Long Beard

United States Bicentennial commemorative medals, both official and privately struck, were a resounding success at the time of their inception. Some appearing in the years leading up to the Bicentennial of 1976. Literally hundreds, if not reaching the thousands, of these once treasured mementos of the time eventually finding their way into a cigar or shoe box tucked away in a closet or attic to be forgotten. To be certain there is still a select group, all be they much smaller in number than back in the 1970's, who collect and prize these true works of art. The author being one such, presents a particular piece just added to the hoard and subject for this week's blog. Enjoy!

18 Oct 2022

How I Learned To Make A Medal

Medals | Mike

Hi everyone !! Hope all is well!! Let me tell you the basics of how this came to be.. I am a member of the Ancient Order Of HIBERNIANS. Who are they? Well we were formed when Britain was killing the Irish People back centuries ago. When the price of a Priest head was the same as an Irish Wolf Hound.

29 Jan 2022

Working On a Mystery Without Any Clues: Eisenhower Medals?

Medals | I. R. Bama

So I'm doing my night moves on these two tokens that I recently got from my Mother. I get tons of Kennedy Halfs and other interesting coins and tokens from her because she is elderly, and everybody wants to dun her for money. But my Mom is sharp and I don't worry about her getting taken.


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