So-Called Dollars


Research fails to establish origin of this issue but evidence points to fact metal could have come from that captured from Spanish in this battle.

Following Spain's Declaration of War April 24, 1898, and Congressional Resolution April 25 that war "had existed" since April 21, Commodore George Dewey attacked and destroyed Spanish Fleet in Manila Bay May 1, 1898 and occupied Cavite. War ended with Armistice of Aug. 12; Peace Treaty signed in Paris Dec. 10, 1898.

Following Commodore Dewey's return to United States 1899, he was honored at series of receptions, public and private. At some of these, guests were presented with medals struck from metal captured at Manila Bay and procurable from Government. Elsewhere, there was wide sale of souvenirs, including medals, claimed made from same metal.

Photos courtesy of Tom Hoffman

Obv. Raised bust r.; around Admiral Geo. Dewey.
Rev. Battleship, below U. S. S. Olympia--all within beaded circle resembling ship's rope, looped at top and tied in loose knot at bottom; outside around Manila Bay May 1, 1898.
NOTE: Two varieties known, with and without loop at top of rope on reverse; both varieties have similar rarity.

HK-280 White Metal. 35mm.
HK-280a Bronze.