This copper medal is from the late 1800s. This medal has developed a beautiful patina and aging to the fabric over the years. It bears the masonic compass and square but has been re-appropriated for Jr Order of United American Mechanics.
The Order of United American Mechanics was an anti-Catholic American Nativist organization of the mid-19th century. It was founded in Philadelphia amid the anti-alien riots of 1844-45. It originally was called the Union of Workers. Members were required to undertake efforts to publicize and campaign against the hiring of cheap foreign labor and to patronize only "American" businesses. The organization was formed before tensions that caused the civil war were at their zenith.
I see this medal not as an endorsement of anti-immigration but as a very tangible reminder that there has been resentment in America for a long time. The descendants of these same "aliens" that were rallied against over a century ago now serve as part of the backbone that makes up the very fabric of the United States of America.
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