That coin magnetism spoken of in a previous blog related to buffalo nickels has kicked in again courtesy of an elderly man I help out from time to time.
Seems he was going through various cans, jars, and shoe boxes and ran across an 1874 Indian head penny and passed it on to me – goes into the “gatherers” collection of coins and things to use in various projects.
Kinda piqued my interest so I did a related wiki and discovered that they were minted from 1859 to 1909 – strikes me as a little odd that minting began and continued through the “Indian wars” as depictions on coins, stamps,and such are usually an honorific and during the majority of the minting policies and public sentiment had little if anything to do with honoring the nations as a people.
In 1874, the year this particular coin was minted the Red River War was waged in Texas against the Southern Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and Kiowas – that’s a hundred and forty two years ago and yet the inequities remain.
The intent of this war was to break and subsequently remove the above named nations to reservations and basically achieved that goal, even while coins were being produced depicting an indigenous man.
Perhaps it would have been more appropriate, more truthful, to have minted a coin depicting the reality of Sand Creek, Camp Grant, the Washita, or Wounded Knee.
The second photo is said to be a depiction of a battle known as Buffalo Wallow that took place during the Red River War.