Haym Salomon - The Jew Who Saved The American Revolution

Haym Salomon - The Jew Who Saved The American Revolution

Today is Yom Kippur, the highest holiday in the Hebrew religion.

To celebrate, I am finally writing about one of the Jewish Founders.

Haym Salomon is more than just one of the most important Jewish Founders, he enthusiastically raised the money which won the Revolutionary War.


Send For Haym Salomon

The time had come.

George Washington was prepared to move the Main Army south from New York to join the rest of the Continental Army for the Battle of Yorktown.

There was a problem though...he was broke.

Financier of the American Revolution Robert Morris wrote to the General, suggesting there was no money to be found.

Washington responded:

“Send for Haym Solomon.”


A Different God

While the story above is difficult to confirm, it is not surprising.

Though he is little remembered today, Haym Salomon was one of the most important financiers of the Revolutionary War.

What is surprising was his religion of choice. Salomon was one of a handful of Jews who played a major role in the American Founding. 


Sons of Liberty

Born in Poland, Haym Salomon immigrated to New York as a young man.

Salomon opened a bank and made a fortune exchanging currencies (keep in mind, each colony had its own money at the time in addition to the British pound and Spanish dollar). 

Shortly after his arrival, Haym joined the Sons of Liberty and actively protested British actions.


Prison

Salomon was arrested for his funding of the Patriots and kept in a murky prison which would affect his health for the remainder of his life.

He was finally released with the condition that he translates orders for the German soldiers who had been hired mercenaries for the British.

Unfortunately, Haym was again arrested and sentenced to death but was able to escape after producing a healthy bribe.


Financier

Salomon moved to Philadelphia where he restarted his business.

He was soon approached by Robert Morris, the famous financier of the American Revolution who recruited Haym to raise funds for the Continental Army.

While Morris oversaw the Treasury of the Continental Congress, Salomon was the one who actually brought in the cash.

This is why the story above can so easily be assumed true.


Tragedy

Haym invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into the birth of the United States.

Unfortunately, the young nation was not very good about paying its bills and Salomon lost the entirety of his fortune to independence. 

Additionally, he lost his life.

Haym Salomon died in 1785 at the young age of 44 due to the lingering effects of the sickness he caught years earlier in prison.

It was his actions, as well as those of several other Jews (and a good number of Catholics) that led to freedom of religion becoming a mainstay of American values.


Here are some other articles about Founders who fought for religious equality:

Pierpont Edwards Organizes the Toleration Party

Educating Founders - Samuel Finley and the West Nottingham Academy

After Espionage - Benjamin Tallmadge’s Last Stand

Haym Salomon actually has a decent amount of books written about him.

‘For God and Country’ is one of these books, but unlike most of the others is written for adults.

If you’d like a copy you can get one through the Amazon affiliate link below (you’ll support this site, but don’t worry, Amazon pays me while your price stays the same).

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