T.J.C. writes: I have a mint condition rare coin about the size of a silver dollar. The coin shows the pilgrims landing of 1620 at Plymouth, Mass. On the front center a man is standing on a rock dated 1620 with clasped hands and nine kneeling around him, two more men off to the right side tending a boat, totaling 12 figures in all. A mountain range, six trees and a bare tree limb in the back ground. Under the man standing and below the 1620 date carver in a rock, is the date 1870, a rifle and hat laying on the rock off to the left side. The name “j.e.ellis.f.” left bottom and “a.c. Warren” right bottom. (these two dates show a 250 year celebration) at the top of the coin are the words “pilgrim jubilee memorial.”.
On the reverse side is a large opened golden book with the words “holy bible” at the top of the page written on the book. A spread winged egale above the book looking down at the book. Above the eagle are the words “whose faith follow”. Around the book are two different type branches tied together with a (scarlet) ribbon. The branch on the right is an olive brangh with 7 olive berrys. The branch on the left is an oak branch with 7 acorns. The letters j.e.e. At the bottom below the ribbon. To be 131 years old this is the most beautifully toned and engraved coin I’ve ever seen. Can you tell me how many were made, are their whereabouts known, and estimated value.
You have a medal commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Landing of the Pilgrims. The medal was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society, first chartered in 1819. Their first meeting was held on May 18, 1820. The society received wide spread support from the New England population and became a forum for political types rather quickly. For example, on a meeting held on the “Forefathers Day” celebration, December 21, 1820, the meeting’s highlight was a speech by the famous barrister Daniel Webster.
Pilgrim Hall was built by the society in 1824 and houses the history and records of the 102 English, Dutch and Scotch Puritans who were the occupants of the ship Mayflower that landed on the Massachusetts coast on December 21, 1620.
The Pilgrim Jubilee Memorial was held in Plymouth, Massachusetts at the Church of First Parish on December 1, 1870 (other churches in Plymouth also participated). Special trains transported “distinguished guests” who were then conducted to a special Memorial Service at the Church. United States Senator C. Winthrop was the key speaker. Following the service a dinner was served to about 900 people in the new railway station, followed by a Ball held in Davis Hall that was attended by approximately 400 “ladies and gentlemen” (sic).
The origin of the commemorative medal has never been exactly determined. It is speculated that the A. C. Warren designed the medal and J.E. Ellis actually struck the pieces. Both names are found on these medals and both were members of the Pilgrim Society.
The medal is described as following:
Obverse: A scene depicting the Pilgrim’s landing. Above the figures is the legend: PILGRIM JUBILEE MEMORIAL. The dates 1620 above 1870 is below. To the left of “1870” is a tiny J.E. ELLIS to the right, A.C. WARREN. Reverse: A Bible within a wreath, a bird with outstretched wings above. Above an around, WHOSE FAITH FOLLOW. At bottom in tiny letters, J.E.E.
The medal was struck in silver, copper (red to brown color) and brass (gold color). All are rare. A silver example is in the possession of the Pilgrim Society.
Rough estimate of value: US $300 – $500.