Diary of John Adams, volume 3

Du Simitière's Designs for a Medal to Commemorate the Evacuation of Boston, 1776 facing page 257[unavailable]

Pierre Eugène Du Simitière's drawing of the obverse and sketch for the reverse of a gold medal to be presented by Congress to George Washington to commemorate his “wise and spirited conduct in the siege and acquisition of Boston.” On 25 March 1776 John Adams was appointed to a committee “to prepare ... a proper device for the medal.” “I am put upon a Committee to prepare a Device for a Golden Medal to commemorate the Surrender of Boston to the American Arms,” he wrote his wife on 14 August. “There is a Gentleman here of French Extraction, whose Name is Du Simitiere a Painter by Profession whose Designs are very ingenious, and his Drawings well executed. He has been applied to for his Advice. I waited on him yesterday, and saw his Sketches. For the Medal he proposes Liberty with her Spear and Pileus, leaning on General Washington. The British Fleet in Boston Harbour, with all their Sterns towards the Town, the American Troops, marching in” (Adams Papers). On the reverse, in pencil, an all-seeing eye casts rays over a naked sword, held upright by a hand, and the whole is surrounded by thirteen shields bearing the names of the states. These designs were superseded by those of a French medalist some years later. See Adams' Autobiography and note, p. 375–376.

Courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia.