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1776 Washington Before Boston Medal PCGS SP64


The 1st Medal authorized by the Continental Congress


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Wars have long been won from the magical art of deception. In a stroke of military brilliance on March 4th 1776 General Washington ordered Brigadier General John Thomas, along with 800 soldiers and more than 1,200 workers to fortify Dorchester Heights in South Boston.

The British had taken a stronghold in Boston back in 1768, leading to such events as the Boston Massacre and even greater dissention among the Colonists. Many who were on the fence between supporting British versus American causes were converted once imagery of the Massacre began making its way to people’s homes.

To mask the sound of construction during the fortification, other American forces began a bombardment of cannon fire in another part of the city to distract the British from what was really going on at Dorchester Heights. Once Lord Admiral Howe learned of it, he thought he could have British ships take out Washington’s position and artillery but as timing would have it, a storm rolled in which allowed further time to strengthen the American position.

Howe and more than 11,000 soldiers retreated on March 17th 1776 – not ever realizing just how small Washington’s army truly was by comparison. The siege of Boston was ended. Only a few examples in bronze have ever been made available for sale outside institutions. A couple are known in silver – which command six figure sums any time they’re available, and a unique example in gold resides to this day in a Boston institution, and rightly so. That example would likely bring seven figures if ever made available, as it was given to Washington himself by Congress.

Those made in bronze are all that are realistically obtainable to collectors today, and that’s if you’re in the right place and at the right time to be offered one. It is the first medal authorized by the Continental Congress and is included in the Top 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens. It is one of the most important events of the Revolutionary War, and if Washington hadn’t thought of it the entire outcome could have been drastically different. A marvelous addition to any historian or purveyor of magnificent American rarities.

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