So-Called Dollars


During closing days of World's Columbian Exposition or on Oct. 28, 1893, Chicago Mayor Harrison was shot down in doorway of his own home by Patrick E. Prendergast who sought revenge for failure to obtain city job. Assassin was convicted and finally hanged.

Carter H. Harrison (1825-1893) graduated from Yale, moved to Chicago 1855; elected to Congress 1876. First elected Mayor 1879; served 3 terms; retired 1885. In 1891, he ran again, lost but was returned to office 1893. Harrison was "idol of the masses" in his city. Their "instant anger and subsequent grief" at his murder "were sufficiently deep as to astonish and impress the nation."

Most medals such as these were of an official nature. Local statues and monuments usually were financed by public contributions. Considerable revenue often was derived from sale of medals and souvenirs commemorating event. In this case, Type I piece below obviously was issued for such express purpose. Harrison's statue stands near Washington Blvd. in Union Park, Lake St. and N. Ashland Ave.; sculptor was Frederick C. Hibbard; unveiled June 29, 1907.


Photos courtesy of Tom Hoffman

Obv. Male bust facing r.; above, around The Honorable Carter H. Harrison; below, microscopic Childs, Chi.
Rev. Within garland of leaves (with berries), on plaque This is to Certify / That the Bearer Has / Paid One Dollar / to the / Carter H. Harrison / Memorial.

HK-765 Copper. 38mm. Eglit 360. Rulau Chi 78.


Photos courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

Obv. Within rays, within open wreaths In / Memoriam; outside, above Mayor of Chicago; below Assasinated Oct. 28, 1893.; small stars around entire border.
Rev. Male bust facing slightly l.; to l., around Hon. Carter; to r., around H. Harrison; below bust at r., microscopic Childs Chicago--all within center circle; small stars around entire border.

HK-766 Aluminum. 38mm. Eglit 359. Rulau Chi 77.