Heroic Presentation (150519_035)

Heroic Presentation

Maker: R. & W. Wilson

Dated:  July 7, 1844

Coin Silver

12” to top of handle

Ref. No. 150519_035


Inscription reads: Presented to Capt. Henry S. Mallory by his fellow citizens as a token of their appreciation of his brave conduct in sustaining the laws against a Mob in Southwark Philadelphia County on the 7th day of July 1844. The riot of Southwark was a result of opposition to the immigration of Irish Catholics and the related conflict that arose as to which edition of the bible could be allowed in the Philadelphia schools. This tension had been festering for over a decade when it came to a head involving a force of Catholics arming themselves and preparing for siege at a church after losing a couple of churches in the district to the nativist arsonists in the previous two days. Both nativists and Catholics armed with cannon went at it until the militia suppressed the two days of rioting. By some accounts sixteen lives (four being troops) were lost which resulted in legislation creating a police force (sheriffs previously) for the incorporated districts, which then came under the jurisdiction of the city of Philadelphia the following year. Within a decade the rise of Catholic private schools enabled relief from some of the tension, which continued within the public school system. Evidently Capt. Mallory offered heroic relief on that July evening of 1844. Excellent condition.