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The Great Comet of 1811 and “A man of many battles”

May 26, 2011 – Tenth annual coin issues of the Sovereign Nation of the Shawnee Tribe commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Great Comet of 1811 and Chief Kish-kallo-wa.

Each year, beginning in 2002, the Sovereign Nation of the Shawnee Tribe, recognized by the United States under the Shawnee Tribe Status Act of 2000, has issued a Silver Dollar and a Five Dollar Gold coin. The Silver Dollars have featured Chiefs Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa and historic events in Shawnee history, including the Battle of Point Pleasant, Battle of Fallen Timbers, Battle of the Wabash, and Trail of Tears. The Five Dollar Gold coins generally picture a Shawnee Chief, such as Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, Blue Jacket, Black Hoof and Cheeseekau. This is the first series of official coins ever issued by a Native American Tribe.

2011 The Great Comet of 1811 Silver Dollar - 1 oz 999 silver.

2011 The Great Comet of 1811 Silver Dollar - 1 oz 999 silver.

The 2011 Shawnee Silver Dollar commemorates the 100th anniversary of “The Great Comet of 1811” – one of the brightest comets ever seen – visible in the sky for 260 days. It was nicknamed “Tecumseh’s Comet” in the United States – referring to the war between the United States and the American Indian confederacy led by the charismatic Shawnee leader Tecumseh – that concluded with William Henry Harrison’s victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

The Chief Kish-kallo-wa Proof Five Dollar Gold Coin - 1/5 oz. 999 gold.

The Chief Kish-kallo-wa Proof Five Dollar Gold Coin - 1/5 oz. 999 gold.

A portrait of Chief Kish-kallo-wa appears on the 2011 Shawnee Five Dollar Gold coin. According to McKenney and Hall’s “History of the Indian Tribes of North America,” in 1836 Chief Kish-kallo-wa was between 85 and 90 years old, still the head of the Shawnee nation and living on the Kansas River. He was “A man of many battles and of great notoriety. He fought his first battle at the age of 17, and made himself conspicuous by his bravery; his family is distinguished; he is one of seven brothers, all renowned warriors.”

For further information on these new coins and other issues visit the site of PandaAmerica.

The Shawnee have their own website. For visiting it, please click here.

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