Monument to Prison Ship Martyrs Medal
diameter: 1 5/8 in. ( 4.1 cm )
Bronze struck medal with obverse showing arch-like monument with domed roof surmounted by eagle, emerging from sea with sun rising in background, flanked by dates: "1789" and "1908"; legend on scroll above: "FREEDOM OUR ROCK"; inscription in exergue: "COLUMBIAN/ORDER." Reverse depicts column-like monument with date above: "Nov. 14 1908" and inscription in exergue: "DEDICATION OF THE/MONUMENT TO/PRISON SHIP/MARTYRS." Hole punched at top center with two circular loops attached. Original hanger with bar and flag, INV.3428.
During the Revolutionary War thousands of Continental troops were imprisoned under extremely harsh conditions in rotting British prison ships anchored on the Brooklyn shoreline of the East River. In 1908 a monument in Ft Greene Park, Brooklyn, designed by McKim, Meade and White, was dedicated to the Prison Ship Martyrs. The Columbian Order was organized in 1789 for patriotic and political purposes. In 1805, it also adopted the name Tammany Society, and both names continued to be used.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.