Captain Thomas Truxtun Naval Medal
White metal, possibly partly silvered
diameter: 2 3/16 in. ( 5.5 cm )
White metal struck medal with obverse showing uniformed bust of Thomas Truxtun with legend outside line border: "PATRIAE.PATRIS.FILLIO. DIGNO./THOMAS TRUXTUN." Reverse shows naval battle scene with legend outside line border: "U.S. Frigate Constellation of 38 G. pursues attacks & Vanquishes the French ship la Vengeance of 54 G.1.Mar.1800."
This white metal version of the Thomas Truxtun medal, the first Congressional medal made in America, is one of 52 that were struck from the original dies before the obverse die broke. It is one of only a handful known to survive (Massachusetts Historical Society, Naval Historical Foundation, private collection). Truxtun's original gold medal is at the Smithsonian. The white metal version has the original, erroneous dates for both the battle and the Congressional resolution, which were corrected on the original gold medal.
Gift of Mr. James Hazen Hyde
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.