Accompanied by fitted wood presentation box and certificate. The cuvette with the following inscription: The President of the United States to Captain P.E. Westman of the Swedish ship Thor, for his humane and generous conduct towards, the captain, crew & passengers, of the American ship 'Helen' 1858.
The present watch is of interest as it predates the creation of the 'Official Award to Non Citizens of the United States of America for Saving Lives at Sea', which was approved between 1862 and 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln. This accounts for the fact that this watch does not bear the Presidential seal.
Historical records note a ship called the Helen which had presumably started out as a civilian vessel, but was purchased in 1858 by US Coast Guard for use as a tender in the 6th Lighthouse Fleet. In 1861, she would be captured by Confederate forces off South Carolina and would be put to use for the Southern cause. The ship would meet her ultimate demise in 1863 in the Florida Keys when she was captured and burned by the U.S. Navy.
It is not clear whether the involvement with the Swedish ship Thor and her crew occurred before or after the Helen went into military use.
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