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 Nativist opposition to the immigration of Irish Catholics and the related issue that arose as to which edition of the bible should be allowed to be carried by students into the Philadelphia schools.  Student’s choice proved not a viable option as the fear by some non Catholic parents was their children may be risking confusion or conversion should that bible be allowed on premisis.  This tension had been festering for over a decade.  It came to a head involving a force of Catholics arming themselves and preparing for siege within a church after losing a couple of of their other churches, in the district, to the nativist arsonists during 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. All districts came under the jurisdiction of the city of Philadelphia the following year. Within a decade the rise of Parochial schools created relief from some of that nonsense which continued within the public school system.  Evidently Capt. Mallory offered heroic relief on that July evening of 1844.  Pitcher is in excellent condition.