1841 John Tyler
Uniface Indian Peace Medal
Obverse: Fur-draped bust to left with legend JOHN TYLER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES 1841
Reverse: Standard reverse of 1809-1849
Engraver: Ferdinand Pettrich (Obv) and John Reich (Rev)
President William Henry Harrison having died in office after only one month, there was to be no regular Indian Peace Medal for that President. His successor, JOHN TYLER, had only been in office a short period of time when Director of the Mint Robert M. Patterson wrote the War Department suggesting that the medals be struck for Tyler. He should have corresponded with the bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent, but, for some reason, did not.
Patterson wishes to use the new Contamin Portrait lathe, which had been imported from Paris in the latter part of 1837. On November 2, 1841, Patterson Formally proposed to the secretary of war John C. Spencer that the services of a die-sinker be dispensed with and the portrait lathe used instead. Spencer agreed and went on to engage Ferdinand Pettrich to do the modeling for the lathe. Pettrich went to Washington in the last days of 1841 and sketched the president. By early in the new year of 1842 (January 26) the appropriate wax model had been prepared and delivered to the mint. A casting in iron was then made and placed in the portrait lathe. From this casting the lathe cut the three obverses dies required. For the first time in the Indian Peace Medals series all thee portraits were to be the same in details except size.
There was some delay in the medal being struck because Congress did not appropriate the necessary funds for some months. In the meantime T.H. Crawford, the commissioner of Indian affairs, discovered what was transpiring and asserted his right to manage all further details. Crawford began to push matters both in Congress and the mint with the results that all medals were struck by mid January, 1843
Originally there were sixty large, one hundred medium, and one hundred small medals struck at the mint. A large number of these, however, were melted during the presidency of James Polk. The exact breakdown is unknown but the silver amounted in value to near $441.00