The Cornplanter Medal for Iroquois Research, Tiffany & Co.
A bronze medal, which was established in the early 1900s to recognize those who made significant contributions to the research of Iroquois Indians; the obverse features a profile portrait of the Cornplanter and the legend The Cornplanter Medal For Iroquois Research, with what appears to be a wolf at lower left and a beading of wampum around the border, marked Tiffany & Co. lower right; the reverse feature the names of the Iroquois tribes, the "Six Nations," Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Caygua, Seneca, Tuscarora. Within the circle of names is a string of plaques of shell bearing the totems wolf, bear, beaver, turtle, deer, snipe, heron, and hawk. Within this circle is a picture of the Iroquois longhouse, below which is the inscription Awarded by the Cayuga County Historical Society to, with no name or date included; 2.375 in. dia.
The Cornplanter Medal was introduced in 1901 by Frederick Starr, a gentleman from Chicago who had conducted research on the Iroquois Indians and wanted to give public acknowledgement to others who had contributed to the knowledge of the tribes. In order to help establish the medal, Starr and his colleagues raised money by selling a series of drawings of Indian life that were produced by a young Seneca boy named Jesse Cornplanter. The medal was called the Cornplanter Medal in honor of the young Seneca artist, Jesse, as well as the famous Seneca Chieftan, Cornplanter. The medal was designed by Frederick W. Gookin of Chicago, and the dies were cut and strike made by Tiffany & Co., New York. It was to be presented every two years by the Cayuga County Historical Society in Auburn, NY. The first strike of the medal was awarded in 1904 to Gen. John S. Clark of Auburn, NY. (The Open Court: A Monthly Magazine. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1905, Vol. XIX, pgs 186-188)