Major Henry Lee Military Medal
Pewter; plastic, paper
case: 3 x 3 9/16 x 1/2 in. ( 7.6 x 9 x 1.2 cm ) diameter: 1 1/2 in. ( 3.8 cm )
Inscription: obverse, on bust truncation, at left: "J. WRIGHT" Inscription: box cover, at bottom, in silver: "AMERICA'S FIRST MEDALS" Inscription: inside box, at bottom, in silver: "AMERICA'S FIRST MEDALS"
Pewter struck medal with obverse showing uniformed bust of Henry Lee with surrounding legend: "HENRICO LEE LEGIONIS EQUIT.PRAEFECTO/COMITIA AMERICANA." Reverse bears inscription within laurel wreath: "NON OBSTANTIB/FLUMINIBUS VALLIS/ASTUTIA&VIRTUTE BELLICA/PARVA MANU HOSTES VICIT/VICTOSQ./AKMIS HUMANITATE/DEVINXIT./IN MEM PUGN AD PAULUS/HOOK DIE XIX./AUG.1779." Medal is inset into black rectangular plastic case with red-paper-lined interior.
This medal is a pewter replica of the original 1779 gold medal granted to Major Henry Lee for his daring pre-dawn assault in 1779 at Paulus Hook, a British occupied for in what is now Jersey City, New Jersey. He captured 158 prisoners and safely retreated after the successful completion if his mission. This example, struck by the U.S. Mint, Department of the Treasury, was fifth in a series of ten pewter reproductions of early American military medals.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.