Revolutionary War Medal Auctioned Off For Over $900k

Image Credits:

The Daniel Morgan at Cowpens Medal crafted in 1789 and reforged in 1839 to honor American Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan was thought to have been permanently lost to history. However, recently, it has made its reappearance at Stack’s Bowers Galleries in Costa Mesa, CA.

In 1781, General Morgan led his troops into battle at the Battle of Cowpens, proving victorious. The battle is regarded as a turning point in the war, slowing British efforts to invade South Carolina. It was a major upset with over 300 British troops either dead or injured and a staggering 500 taken prisoners compared to only 12 dead and 60 injured patriot troops. Morgan proved a competent and skilled general, and in March of 1790, the medal was awarded to Morgan by George Washington himself. On one side, it depicts Morgan commanding his troops at the titular Battle at Cowpens. On the other side, it depicts him meeting with a Native American woman. 

Upon the general’s death 12 years later, he passed the medal down to his son-in-law, who in turn passed it on to his son, who then passed it on to  Pittsburgh Farmers and Mechanics Bank

However, in 1812, the bank was robbed, and the medal was stolen. The son who placed it there, a man named Morgan Neville, was heartbroken, and determined to have a replacement made of it. In 1835, he finally got his wish after a correspondence with Thomas Jefferson, congress agreed to create a replacement. 

Neville passed two years before its completion; however, in 1841 the remake was presented to his son. The medal remained in his family until 1885 when it was purchased by none other than John Peirpoint Morgan, founder of JPMorgan Chase, an investment bank. J.P. Morgan believed himself to be related to General Morgan, despite little evidence outside of a shared surname. Its last known appearance was that year, and its fate remained unknown.

That leads us to the present, after the medal was anonymously donated to Stack’s Bowers Galleries, an old auction house specializing in rare coins. The bidding occurred April 5th of this year, and it was predicted to go off for between $250,000 and $500,000.

It took only six minutes before only two bidders (both bidding via phone) were left, and after a few more minutes, the coin was sold for a whopping $960,000 to an anonymous bidder.