Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An 1817/3 capped bust half dollar and the Treaty of the Rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie (Maumee)

I've been posting a number of articles on the Philippines lately, so I wanted to intersperse a post of another early U.S. coin paired with a specific event from U.S. history within or near the Great Black Swamp region.   This time I'm featuring an 1817/3 capped bust half dollar, Overton variety number O-101.   As you can see very clearly from the photo, there is a 3 beneath the 7 of the date.   This is referred to as an overdate, and this occurred at the mint when the obverse (front) die was being prepared.  Apparently due to materiel shortages and economic hardship that extended well after the War of 1812 ended (only a few half dollars were minted in 1815 and none were minted in 1816), there was a need to "recycle" one of the working dies from 1813, so in the year 1817 the mint worker punched a number 7 right on top of the old die from 1813.  One might consider this an error of omission, since the mint worker made no attempt to remove the underlying 3. The 1817/3 overdate is pretty scarce to come by in excellent condition, and is a variety that is represented in the Red Book guide to American coins, so it is in high demand from collectors.   Note that not all of the 1817 half dollars have this 7 over 3 overdate variety, but only a relatively small number in comparison to the remainder of non-overdate varieties of half dollars minted in 1817.

1817/3 O-101 Capped Bust Half Dollar obverse

1817/3 O-101 Capped Bust Half Dollar reverse

One of the tie-ins of this coin to contemporaneous Great Black Swamp area history is that on September 29, 1817, the Treaty of the Rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie (the Miami of Lake Erie is presently known as the Maumee River) was signed, at Fort Meigs in Maumee, Ohio. In this treaty the Wyandot Indians, the Seneca Indians, the Delaware Indians, the Shawnee Indians, the Potawatomi Indians, the Ottawa Indians, and the Chippewa Indians relinquished their claim to four million acres of land in northwestern Ohio. This treaty was also known as the Treaty with the Wyandot and the Fort Meigs Treaty.

The U.S. government agreed to pay $4,000 each year to the Wyandots, $500 a year to the Seneca tribe, and $2,000 dollars a year to the Shawnees. The United States also agreed to pay $1,300 a year for fifteen years to the Potawatomis, $1,000 a year for fifteen years each to the Ottawa and Chippewa tribes, and a single payment of $500 to the Delaware. In addition, some tribes received additional cash payments for damages they suffered during the War of 1812 because they were allies of the United States. The United States agreed to "grant land" to the various tribes as well... in other words, putting these Indian tribes on reservations. The Wyandots received a twelve-mile-square reservation at Upper Sandusky, Ohio. The Senecas received thirty thousand acres along the Sandusky River. The Shawnees received a ten-mile-square reservation at Wapakoneta in addition to several other grants. The Ottawas received a small parcel along the Auglaize River, while the Delawares were allotted a nine-mile-square reservation next to the Wyandots' land. As specified in Article 2 of the treaty:
'Article 2:  It is also agreed that there shall be reserved for the use of the Wyandots, in addition to the reservations before made, fifty-five thousand six hundred and eighty acres of land, to be laid off in two tracts, the first to adjoin the south line of the section of six hundred and forty acres of land heretofore reserved for the Wyandot chief, the Cherokee Boy, and to extend south to the north line of the reserve of twelve miles square, at Upper Sandusky, and the other to adjoin the east line of the reserve of twelve miles square, at Upper Sandusky, and to extend east for quantity.  
There shall also be reserved, for the use of the Wyandots residing at Solomon's town, and on Blanchard's fork, in addition to the reservations before made, sixteen thousand acres of land, to be laid off in a square form, on the head of Blanchard's fork, the centre of which shall be at the Big Spring, on the trace leading from Upper Sandusky to fort Findlay; and one hundred and sixty acres of land, for the use of the Wyandots, on the west side of the Sandusky river, adjoining the said river, and the lower line of two sections of land, agreed, by the treaty to which this is supplementary, to be granted to Elizabeth Whitaker.
There shall also be reserved, for the use of the Shawnese, in addition to the reservations before made, twelve thousand eight hundred acres of land, to be laid off adjoining the east line of their reserve of ten miles square, at Wapaughkonetta; and for the use of the Shawnese and Senecas, eight thousand nine hundred and sixty acres of land, to be laid off adjoining the west line of the reserve of forty-eight square miles at Lewistown. And the last reserve hereby made, and the former reserve at the same place, shall be equally divided by an east and west line, to be drawn through the same. And the north half of the said tract shall be reserved for the use of the Senecas who reside there, and the south half for the use of the Shawnese who reside there.There shall also be reserved for the use of the Senecas, in addition to the reservations before made, ten thousand acres of land, to be laid off on the east side of the Sandusky river, adjoining the south line of their reservation of thirty thousand acres of land, which begins on the Sandusky river, at the lower corner of William Spicer's section, and excluding therefrom the said William Spicer's section.'
Northwest Ohio Indian reservations from the Treaty of the Rapids of the Miami of Lake Erie


The Treaty of St. Mary's amended and supplemented the Treaty of Maumee Rapids. The Treaty of St. Mary's was signed later that same day. Captain Pipe and Black Hoof were two of the signers of the Treaty of the Maumee Rapids.  Sadly, within another 13 years all of these tribes would be forcibly uprooted from their Ohio reservations and sent to desolate reservations far to the west across the Mississippi River, far from their ancestral home and hunting lands.


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