Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


BARBER, William: USA, 1876, Bronze, 57 mm
Obv: America, coiffed with the Phrygian cap of Liberty, girt with sword and shield of the United States of America, is placing wreath on heads of Industry and Art      IN COMMEMORATION OF THE HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE. ACT OF CONGRESS JUNE 1874
Exergue:  1876
Rev: Rising Liberty, personifying the United Colonies, with a sword points to a constellation of the thirteen stars, emblematical of the thirteen original United States     THESE UNITED COLONIES ARE, AND OF RIGHT OUGHT TO BE, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES
Exergue:  1776
Mintage= ca.7000
Ref: Julian 234/CM-11; Loubat, J.F. 438/82;  see Jaeger and Bowers 63/52;  Weiss BW007

This medal, which is one of the official medals of the 1876 centennial celebration, was authorized by an Act of Congress in 1874. "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United Stated in Congress assembled: That medals with appropriate devices, emblems and inscriptions, commemorative of the Centennial Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, be prepared at the mint at Philadelphia for the Centennial Board of Finance...". These official medals were of four kinds: small gilt (38 mm), large bronze (57 mm), coin silver, and large gilt.   Some (such as this example) were enclosed in a case. (Loubat)

LINK to text of Declaration of Independence (from Indiana University School of Law)

LINK to the American Revolution (from The History Place)