Did you know that the one-of-a-kind Daniel Morgan gold medal from the Comitia Americana series has finally surfaced? To begin, let’s recap the creation of the medal and what led to its century and a half disappearance.?
The Daniel Morgan Comitia Americana medal was awarded following the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina. General Daniel Morgan was an integral piece of Washington’s forces. After Morgan’s time at Valley Forge, he was forced to return to his farm in Virginia due to disabilities incurred while on duty. However, when the British forces took over Charleston and Camden (both in South Carolina), Morgan felt the need to join with General Gates to protect the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. The British were led by Cornwallis and Tarleton. Significantly outnumbering the American forces, Tarleton confronted General Morgan at Cowpens. But, Morgan proved more tactical than Tarleton and eventually took 700 British soldiers, along with the colors of the 7th Royal Fusiliers.
Augustin Dupre engraved the Daniel Morgan Cowpens medal to depict the battle scene on the front and a Native American female placing a crown on Morgan on the back. There are multiple silver and bronze examples known, as well as a single gold medal that was presented to Morgan in March 1790. The gold medal was passed down to Morgan’s grandson, Major Morgan Neville, who stored it in a bank in Pittsburgh from which it was stolen in 1818. By an Act of Congress in 1836 it was agreed that a replacement would be made for the stolen gold piece, using copy dies created in France from a silver example. By the time the new gold medal was complete, Neville had passed away, and it was given to his son, Morgan L. Neville in 1841. John Kraljevich, in his cataloging for Stack’s Bowers Galleries 2019 presentation of the John W. Adams Collection of Comitia Americana and Related Medals reported that the last public appearance of the medal was when Morgan Neville’s grandson displayed it in a Saratoga, New York jewelry store window in 1885. Experts and historians have sought the medal ever since. Finally, in 2022, Stack’s Bowers Galleries will sell the 1839 gold Daniel Morgan Cowpens Medal at public auction. This will represent a monumental opportunity for Comitia Americana collectors to own an elusive piece of history. We have had the medal certified by PCGS and it received a grade of Specimen-63. Over the past 182 years, the medal was well preserved and safely stored. Stack’s Bowers Galleries is proud to finally present the long lost treasure and we are certain that our collectors will be thrilled to have the chance to own such an incredible piece.