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Amelia Island Green Cross of Florida Medal, 1817

From Stack's January 2005 Auction, Session 2 on Jan 19, 2005

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Categories  •  Stack's January 2005 The Americana Sale U. S. Medals, Tokens and Americana United States Medals Americana, Florida

Amelia Island Green Cross of Florida Medal, 1817. Bronze, 33.1mm, 16.88 grams. Rulau Fla 10 (R-6),...Amelia Island Green Cross of Florida Medal, 1817. Bronze, 33.1mm, 16.88 grams. Rulau Fla 10 (R-6), Gillingham, Ephemeral Decorations, pp. 6-10. Choice Extremely Fine. Obv. Laurel encloses Green Cross of Florida with notched arms, Latin legend announces Liberty of the Floridas, MacGregor Leading. Rev. Date 29 June 1817 in wreath, Latin AMALIA, VENI VIDI VICI, I Came, Saw, Conquered. Medium brown patina shows four areas of old encrustation at the reverse rim. Plain edge shows no collar segment line, a rim pinch at 2:00 may be as made. Possibly related to MacGregor's ephemeral Military Order of the Green Cross, which he awarded in the attack on Porto Bello two years later. Believed struck in Paris, France, or England, only 14 examples are known, four in museum collections. Here is a rare and significant medal recalling a virtually forgotten footnote to U.S. and Florida history.

Edinburgh-born Scottish soldier of fortune Gregor MacGregor (1786-1845) fought in the British Army in 1805-1810. He was a Colonel in the Venezuelan revolutionary army under Gen. Francisco de Miranda in 1811, rising to General of Division. In 1817 he decided to liberate Spanish East and West Florida, ''the Floridas.'' Commissioned by the U.S. envoys of Venezuela, New Granada (Colombia), Mexico and Rio de la Plata (Argentina) on Mar. 31, 1817, he raised $160,000 and recruited some 150 men in Philadelphia, Charleston and Savannah. His forces landed at Fernandina on Amelia Island on June 29 and quickly seized the town, running up his own flag, the Green Cross of Florida. In florid proclamations he proclaimed that date ''forever memorable in the annals of the independence of South America'' and promised an embroidered shield for each soldier's uniform before embarking his veterans for further battles in South America. However, reinforcements never arrived and the U.S. government declined to annex Florida at that time. Although he defeated Spanish forces from Cuba and San Augustin that tried to retake Amelia, MacGregor signed over the island to Mexican adventurer (or pirate) Luis Aury and sailed away. He reappeared in the 1819 Porto Bello attack, where he bestowed his Military Order of the Green Cross. MacGregor planned to govern Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast in 1820, retiring in 1839 to Caracas. Florida was ultimately acquired by the U.S. through the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1821.

Lot # 2406 Session 2
Hammer Price: $2,000.00

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Click to open a larger image - Amelia Island Green Cross of Florida Medal, 1817. Bronze, 33.1mm, 16.88 grams. Rulau Fla 10 (R-6),... Click to open a larger image - Amelia Island Green Cross of Florida Medal, 1817. Bronze, 33.1mm, 16.88 grams. Rulau Fla 10 (R-6),...

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