Among the Numismatic Americana listed in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries Coin Resource Center are Comitia Americana medals, the topics of the last several CRC Featured Item Blogs. This week we’ll be taking a look at the medal awarded to Anthony Wayne in 1779.
In 1779, British forces under General Sir Henry Clinton took control of minor forts at King’s Ferry along the Hudson River to draw Washington’s Continental Army into a catastrophic engagement that British leaders hoped would culminate in the destruction of Washington’s forces. Washington held back, keeping a watchful eye on Clinton’s forces and protecting West Point. He then tasked General “Mad Anthony” Wayne with retaking one of the forts: Stony Point on the west side of the Hudson River. Wayne retook the fort at Stony Point in a daring, successful nighttime raid on July 16, 1779. Congress passed a resolution presenting Wayne with a gold medal days after his exploits. Two other American participants were awarded gold medals for their actions at Stony Point: Francois-Louis Teissedre de Fleury and John Stewart.
Wayne’s medal was among the last Comitia Americana medals finished. Its obverse depicts Wayne receiving a laurel wreath from a personification of America, according to the Smithsonian Institution’s website. Its reverse features a panoramic view of the Stony Point battle.
Like other CRC listings on Comitia Americana medals, the listing for Anthony Wayne includes standard catalog numbers, a lengthy history of its subject’s exploits and the story of the medal’s authorization and production, links to recent auction results, and Coins in Motion videos of the medal.