CLARK, WILLIAM. 1770-1838.
Document Signed ("Wm Clark"), partially printed and accomplished in manuscript, 1 p, folio (500 x 300 mm), St. Louis, Missouri Territory, July 27, 1814, awarding the "Big Medal" to Pandanapape, Chief of the Yankton Sioux, also signed by Frederick Bates, with hand-colored engraving of the Union eagle with olive branch at upper margin and white wafer seal trimmed with blue silk at lower right corner, leaf creased and toned, significant losses at upper right corner, right and left margins (affecting last letter of signature and paraph), staining from tape remnants at folds, framed.
CLARK BESTOWS A "PEACE MEDAL" TO A YANKTON SIOUX CHIEF. Text reads: "In Consideration of the fidelity, zeal, and attachment testified by Pandanapape Chief of the Yankton Sioux to the government of the UNITED STATES; and by virtue of the power and authority [by] me vested, I do hereby confirm the said Pandanappe [sic] Chief of the Yankton Sioux aforesaid, have bestowed upon him the Big Medal; willing all and singular the Indians Inhabitants thereof, to obey him as Chief; and all officers and others in the service of the UNITED STATES to treat him accordingly."
During their expedition, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark carried at least 89 peace medals, produced by the U.S. Mint with Thomas Jefferson's likeness, to be presented to influential Native American chiefs they met along their route. During his career as Governor of the Missouri Territory, Clark continued the practice, and in fact the gesture remained part of Indian Affairs diplomacy until the late 19th century. Lewis and Clark first met with the Yankton Sioux in August of 1804 at Calumet Bluff, when the natives were eager to open trade relations with the United States (but were ultimately rebuffed).
Acquisition: Swann, Dec 2, 1999, lot 255, $3,680.