Similar items over time

Medal - Congressional Medal, John Horn Jr. for Saving Life, United States of America, 1874 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 36561

Copper strike of the Congressional Medal awarded to John Horn Jr. for Saving Life, by the United States of America, 1874. John Horn Jr. was born on 7 September 1843 at Sidmouth, Devonshire. The family migrated to the United States of America where his father established a family boat business, running a ferry and two tug-boats, at Detroit. He lived at the docks and between 1863 and 1874 was credited with saving over a hundred people from drowning. During the great fire of Detroit on 11 April 1866 he rescued nine people from the water. In 1869 the citizens of Detroit awarded him a gold medal which was followed in 1874 by a Congressional gold medal.

Since the American Revolution the United States Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Each medal honours a particular individual, institution, or event. Often off-metal strikes were later produced for artistic and commemorative purposes.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 48 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: life saving awards
Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Life Saving Awards
Tertiary Classification: drowning
Series: Congressional Medals
DateEra: 1874 AD
Obverse Description: Bare head facing left; behind, 'JOHN HORN JR'.
Reverse Description: The legend at the centre within an olive wreath, IN / RECOGNITION / OF HIS / HEROIC EXPLOITS / IN / RESCUING MEN / WOMEN & CHILDREN / FROM DROWNING / IN / DETROIT RIVER; around above on broad rim, BY ACT OF CONGRESS JUNE 20TH 1874
Edge Description: The edge is plain
Shape: Round
Material: Copper
Issued By: United States of America Congress, United States of America, 1874
Person Depicted: John Horn, United States of America
References: Loubat, J.F. The Medallic History of the United States of America 1776-1876, Washington, 1878, pp. 457-460 (includes a letter from Horn giving details of some of his rescues)

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No