Artifact and Analysis

Document 1
Protocol for presentation of peace medals

In the distribution of medals and flags, the following rules will be observed:

  1. They will be given to influential persons only.

  2. The largest medals will be given to the principal village chiefs, those of the second size will be given to the principal war chiefs, and those of the third size to the less distinguished chiefs and warriors.

  3. They will be presented with proper formalities, and with an appropriate speech, so as to produce a proper impression upon the Indians.

  4. It is not intended that chiefs should be appointed by any officer of the department, but that they should confer these badges of authority upon such as are selected or recognized by the tribe, and as are worthy of them, in the manner heretofore practised.

  5. Whenever a foreign medal is worn, it will be replaced by an American medal, if the Agent should consider the person entitled to a medal.

William Clark, commissioner of Indian affairs, and Lewis Cass, governor of Michigan Territory, 1829