Bullet mold

Object Number: 
ca. 1776
Iron, wood, glass, paper, wax
Overall (bullet mold): 13 7/8 x 12 in. (35.2 x 30.5 cm) Frame: 22 x 20 1/4 in. ( 55.9 x 51.4 cm )
Transcription of document 1860.7, in ink: Top Section In memory of the Iconoclast Peter Theobaldus Curtenius this instrument in which a part of the Statue of King George the Third was cast to furnish bullets to defend against unwarrantable taxation and oppression has been presented and is Presented as a Souvenir[.] New York Historical Society by his Grandson the undersigned who as the last of his blood remaining in this city Certifies to its Originality[.] Bottom Section This is the only Public Record to tell where lie the Remains of the Patriot Curtenius in the Family Tomb of this Son in Law Elbert Roosevelt in the Beech Wood Cemetery at New Rochelle by the side of his Daughters Jane and Elizabeth, and his son General Peter Curtenius, and his Grandson Isaac Roosevelt[,] they rest in peace. Left Section The history of the Revolutionary War furnishes no example of greater Moral Courage than Colonel Curtenius exhibited in taking the responsibility of ordering the overthrow of the Tyrants Statue then in the Bowling Green near the Battery[.] It was the first blow in this state for independence. The moral effect was to confirm the wavering[.] By this act a victim to tyranny offered himself as the first sacrifice[.] Ambitions only to benefit his Country he devoted his services to the least glorious Office that of Commissary with an empty treasury and when it was discovered that Continental Paper Money would not answer as a medium in a time of War to clothe the naked Soldiers or to prevent desertion this self sacrificing Patriot advanced the remnant of his private fortune in Specie and thus sustained the Troops as if children of his household. Right Section Paper Money never was redeemed and Curtenius lost his ally Gen. George Clinton having pledged his honor that the sum advanced in by Colonel Curtenius for the general service should be refunded, applied to Congress for that purpose. Failing however to obtain redress in order to make good his pledge, he with Governor Jay[,] Collector Lamb[,] Judge Hobart Alexander Roberson[,] William Dunning[,] Thomas Sudlow[,] Andrew Hammersly and Anthony Post united under the firm of Peter T. Curtenius and Co. in the establishment of the old Air Furnace in Duane Street. By this the subject of this memoir recovered in some measure from the losses sustained by him in accepting the Paper Money in place of the Specie advanced. He was also appointed State Auditor although no monument but this has been erected to his Memory yet when he died the great men of his day with reverence said truly an honest man's the noblest work of God. Signed Clinton Roosevelt
Iron bullet mold; two rounded, rectangular handles that extend through hinged middle into two flat, rectangular arms with twelve circular molds at interior of each arm; engraved number on one arm; bullet mold is mounted in center of rectangular wooden frame, on top of handwritten proclamation that has two red wax seals at bottom.
Gallery Label: 
This presentation frame and bullet mold are a testimonial to Peter Curtenius, a New York colonel during the Revolutionary War who, according to the proclamation inside the frame, ordered the toppling of the statue of King George III in Bowling Green on July 9, 1776.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Clinton Roosevelt
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group