Upon returning to New York, Haym Salomon was arrested by the British, who suspected him of being a spy. He was thrown into a disease-infested prison where he became ill, probably with the tuberculosis that later claimed his life.
From there he was transferred to the feared Provost Prison. Conditions there were deplorable, food was scarce and rotten, and torture was common. When German officers discovered Haym’s language skills, they put him to work as an interpreter.
Unbeknownst to them, during this time he was also using his skills to convince German soldiers to desert and help prisoners escape. After his release from prison, the brave Haym remained in New York and continued to work undercover for the American cause.
In 1777, he married Rachel Franks, who was from a wealthy Jewish family. In 1778, their son Ezekiel was born.
While wartime conditions made it increasingly difficult for merchants to obtain goods, Haym and his family survived due to his skill as a broker. That same year, the British again arrested him for revolutionary activities. His sentence~execution! He escaped to Philadelphia, but without his wife, child or money.
Rachel’s relatives were members of a Jewish congregation in Philadelphia and they helped Haym start a brokerage and merchant business there. Rachel and their son were soon able to join him.
“‘Send for Haym Salomon!”
Haym established a reputation as a brilliant financial broker. He accumulated a fortune and pledged it to aid his adopted homeland. His financial skills were sought after by American and international dignitaries, as well as many others.
General George Washington suggested that Robert Morris, superintendent of finance, ask Haym Salomon for assistance in raising money to continue funding the war. When all seemed lost, Robert Morris did just that. It is said that on Yom Kippur, he sent an urgent message to Haym during religious services, asking him to raise $20,000 immediately . Interrupting services on a holy day for such a request was unthinkable! But Haym Salomon’s patriotism compelled him to obtain pledges for that amount on the spot.
Because the Continental Congress had no authority to collect taxes to pay for an army, this Polish Jew who had set up a brokerage in a coffee shop, raised all the money. He helped fund Washington’s surprise attack at Yorktown in 1781, which was ultimately the final major victory of the war.
In 1782, in an effort to stabilize the value of money, Robert Morris helped establish the country’s first national bank, the Bank of North America. He looked to patriots like Haym Salomon to pledge their assistance and even their own personal fortunes to support the nation’s financial welfare through this institution.
Haym Salomon didn’t hesitate. His money and his good name were gladly given on this occasion and many others.
His command of French and other languages also enabled him to negotiate with foreign officials to obtain loans for the American government. He was officially appointed broker to the Office of Finance.
Haym Salomon’s wisdom and services became invaluable as indicated by more than 75 entries in Rober t Morris’ diary. Again and again he declares, “I sent for Haym Salomon,” or words to that effect.
Haym Salomon remained faithful to the cause even at the expense of his own welfare and that of his family. Most of the commission money he earned was placed back into thc federal fund . Not only did he use personal finances to provide interest-free loans to James Madison , Thomas Jefferson and numerous other public figures, he also personally paid the salaries of some government officials and army officers.
Haym Salomon poured his very life into the country he loved.
Following the war, the nation faced bankruptcy. It is said that Robert Morris again sent for Haym Salomon. Although very, very ill, the faithful patriot didn’t disappoint. America’s cry for help roused him from his deathbed and he did what he did so well one last time----—he raised the funds needed for America to live on.
IN 1785 , AT THE AGE OF 45 , THE ILLNESS HE CONTRACTED IN PRISON ENDED HAYM SALOMON’S LIFE.
Honoring a Hero
A statue featuring George Washington, Robert Morris and Haym Salomon was erected in Chicago in 1941 to honor their contributions to the Revolutionary War effort.
Then in 1975, a commemorative U.S. postage stamp was issued honoring Haym Salomon. Unique printing on the glue side bears this message:
Financial Hero — Businessman and broker Haym
Salomon was responsible for raising most of the
money needed to finance the American Revolution
and later to save th e new nation from collapse.
Although a number of Jews played significant roles in the founding of our nation, many historians believe that had it not been for the faithful efforts of Haym Salomon, there would not be a United States of America today!
Believer’s Voice of
July 2005. (Pgs. 26-7)
Kenneth Copeland Ministries
P. O. Box 961010,
Fort Worth, TX 76161-9984
Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993