Sunday, November 1, 2009

Preble's Coin


Preble's Coin
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When Captain Edward Preble was relieved by Commodore Rodgers, a few days after the explosion of the Intrepid, Preble returned to the United States in dispair, believing he had failed in four attacks on Tripoli, to free the captured crew of the Philadelphia, and lost four of the Navy's promising young officers in Somers, Wadsworth, Israel and Caldwell, whose names are on the Tripoli monument at Annapolis.

Unexpectedly, Preble was welcomed home a hero, with banquets held in his honor, and Congress issuing a resolution honoring him with this gold coin, and issuing the officers who served under him a special sword, while the men under him were given bonuses.

This is the coin, with the bust of Preble on one side and palm tree lined Tripoli harbor on the other.

The bust of Preble was said to have been based on a portrait of Preble done while Preble was in Philadelphia, enroute from Washington to New York. Banquets in his honor were given in each city, and while in Philadelphia, Preble sat while his portrait was painted by Peale.

Another portrait of Preble was done by a women, who must have based it on the coin because the blue color of the uniform is wrong, though I have yet to see the original Peale portrait.

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