History, Information, and Value of 1849 Zachary Taylor Indian Peace Medal
Unlike the timely James Polk medals, the Zachary Taylor medal was created with several hiccups in the creation process. For starters, Henry Kirke Brown created the initial sketch of Taylor’s head. Since Brown was not knowledgeable in the creation of medals using the portrait lathe, the original model had to be recreated. The delay pushed the creation of the medal back to September 1849. Secondly, the die for the largest medal broke in 1850 and had to be fixed. Lastly, Taylor died in July of 1850 which stopped the creation of new medals. The obverse displays a bust of Taylor, facing to the left wearing a draped cloth. The legend around his head reads, “ZACHARY TAYLOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1849.” The reverse is similar to the previous designs that feature two hands shaking below a crossed tomahawk and peace pipe. The legend reads, “PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP.” The original dies, used in the previous medals had worn out, so this design, featuring thicker, heavier letters was used. One hundred ninety-eight medals were struck in this size, but 307 out of the total medals were eventually melted down.