Indian Peace Medal Uncovered in NC
By: Elton F.
Sunday 02/28/2021 I went detecting with a couple of friends, we had hit a site earlier and did not find much, so try an area we have been to a lot and just about hunted out, but there is still some things there but it has just got to be your day to find something. Had a couple of targets but pulled regular old brass shot gun shells and buck shot. I am using my old trusty Nautilus DMC-IIB, love that machine, had fallen tree where the roots were pulled out the ground, so like always check where it pulled out the ground. nothing there, making my way back to my friends as they are moving off from me. Got a signal, well thought to my self after just digging three shot gun shells, that it might be another. dug it and so a copper disc, of course I am getting excited, I start yelling my friends names, trying to get them to come back as none of us have found anything up to this point. but seeing the disc, I knew it could be a large button or a large copper coin. The sight has been known to find some King George coppers out of there and tomback buttons. Still not seeing my friends, I started getting dirt off the item. I saw a head facing right. If you know about KG coppers some face left and some face right, this one is facing right. on the face of coin it read: George King of Great Britain. So I am calling my friends on my cell phone, you need to get back to me quick, I have got a KG copper. My friend said I will be there in a minute to help you ID it. He has found some before, most of mine of clipped, so not whole coins, but this one is whole. I clean the back a little, and I saw no date but one the back instead of what you normally see on a KG copper, I had a figure with a drawed bow and arrow and a deer with a tree and shrub. So my friends came back to where I was, I was jumping up and down and my friend said “I know that smile”. He looked it and said I have never seen one of these before. So he posted on his facebook to get some help. So we detected more in that area and worked it a little need to go back. but did get a cannon shell fragment and I found 2 musket percussion caps in one hole and 5 ft away my friend dug one also. but it was getting late and park was closing so had to leave. One of my friend that was not with us, posted on Dan's facebook page, a link so we click on it and it turns out that this is King George I Indian Peace Trade Medal. It was made between 1714 and doing research on the item some have been found from MI to VA, but none no further south that Virginia. and they were giving to the 6 main tribes which there were Indian tribes in this area, but were all driven out by 1808 according to history books. As far as I know there is not a number on how many were made, but ANS Digital Library Medal in America, there were 19 looked at. There are some in museums, and some rare collections. My oldest piece to this was a 1748 Spanish Reale, but this goes back further for me. Still have not made to 1600's yet, but still looking. What makes this piece so special for this area. There was a settlement around 1660’s called Charles Towne, and then next town was settled in that area was Brunswick Town in 1720’s. The county at the time was called Bath County, but was renamed later Brunswick County, and county beside it was called New Hanover County. Well King George I was king from 1714 to 1727 and he was Duke of Brunswick and Earl of Hanover, which this area was named from him. You had the Tuscarora Indian wars going on 1711-1712 in eastern North Carolina. This peace medal was given to the Tuscarora Chief at the time and then Yamassee Wars started in 1715. So the question is was the medal lost from breaking or did the chief deposed of because the peace treaty was broken. Either way on the banks of Old Town Creek in Brunswick County, NC on Feb 28,2021 I dug up a piece of history 307 years old. No one knows how many of these medals were made, and all of the one found have been found around PA and NY, this is the only one I know of in doing research that has been found in North Carolina. It just one of those finds, that every time I look at it, I still cannot believe that I found it. And just holding a piece in my hand that has so much history tied to it. So far to date there has been 6 different varieties of this medal this one is Obverse III Reverse F. I have been metal detecting over 25 years and I would have to say this is my best find ever. I have been contacted by the Tuscarora Tribe and they want to hold the medal again after 307 years. And my plans are to keep in on display at the Brunswick Town museum where they have a Cape Fear Indian display. On the pictures attached on pictures with medal in hand is the day I pulled out of ground, second set of pictures is after I cleaned it up and put in case. Then I had medal sent off the NGC to be preserved and to be graded.