Friday, November 11, 2011

1814 O-105a "single leaf" capped bust half dollar and the Second Treaty of Greenville

The photos below are of an 1814 capped bust half dollar, which is an O-105a variety, an R4 in rarity, and quite scarce... an elusive coin.  It also happens to be a variety that is listed in what is referred to as the "Red Book", but what is actually titled "A Guide Book of United States Coins", by R.S. Yeoman and Kenneth Bressett.  There's an link to this book on the right-hand side of this page if you're interested - it's been published annually for about the last 64 years, and is an incredibly informative and well-illustrated (photos) reference for a very economical price.  

The reason that this half dollar is a Red Book variety is because on the reverse, directly under the eagle's left wing (from the observer's perspective, not the eagle's), there is what appears to be a single leaf at the topmost part of the olive branch, where normally there are two leaves paired together.  This is because at the Philadelphia Mint in 1814, over time the reverse die probably became clashed and someone at the mint aggressively "lapped" or polished the die in this position to remove the surface defect, and in the process the upper pair of leaves were reduced to a thin remnant resembling a single leaf.  This particular variety, among other early capped bust halves, is known to have a bit of a "raccoon eye" effect on Miss Liberty, which is fairly notable on this half.   

My wife, who did not know this capped bust half dollar was an R4 variety, chose this for me at a flea market in Tampa, and picked it up for only I think about $63 or $70.  It has been cleaned in the past but only just mildly. I think that for $70 for a nice, early date, historic, R4 rarity bust half that is also a Redbook variety, she (accompanied by my daughter) did really well, and I was very pleasantly surprised/thrilled, and also very proud of her "cherrypicking" a great bust half at a cheap price without having knowledge of the variety.   

1814 O-105a capped bust half dollar obverse

1814 O-105a capped bust half dollar reverse

In contemporaneous U.S. history, the year 1814 was extremely important in the ongoing but waning War of 1812.  Military actions included but were not limited to the battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, at which Francis Scott Key composed the United States' national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner.  In the vicinity just a short distance southwest of the Great Black Swamp, in Greenville, Ohio, on July 22, 1814, General William Henry Harrison and Governor Lewis Cass (of Michigan territory) negotiated on behalf of the United States government a second treaty with the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Seneca, Miami and Potawatomi at the same place where the original treaty had been negotiated in 1795.  This Second Treaty of Greenville was referred to as "A TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP Between the United States of America and the tribes of Indians called the WyandotsDelawaresShawanoeseSenacas and Miamies."  It provided peace among the tribes, and alliance of these Tribes with the U.S. against Great Britain during the War of 1812.   Shown below is a photo of a "peace pipe" given to the tribes by the U.S. government.

Peace pipe from Second Treaty of Greenville, 1814

This agreement illustrated the continued struggle between the British and the white Americans to establish allies with Ohio's Native American people, and the struggle of the Native Americans to maintain their land and preserve their way of life. This struggle had existed since the American Revolution, but with the United States' victory in the War of 1812, Ohio natives no longer had the British as an ally to assist them in inhibiting the westward migration of white Americans.



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