Part 3 , What my Children Are Learning: 'Forgotten Patriot' : The Primary Financial Hero of the Revolutionary War, Haym SolomonSubmitted by Libera_me on Sun, 06/09/2013 - 13:52
The unsung heroes of the Revolution are many, but one stands out for his bravery and 'chutzpah'. That man is Haym Solomon, one of the primary 'brokers' and contributors to the cause of the Revolution. He joined the New York branch of the Sons of Liberty, and was arrested by the British in September of 1776. After a pardon caused to some degree by torture claims, he went undercover as interpreter for the British to the Hessian forces. He used this position to convince the Hessians to depart from the service of Great Britain and to assist prisoners in escaping from her. He was arrested again and nearly tried for treason. However, he managed to escape and find his family. He fled with them to the Patriot capital in Philidelphia.
Working extensively with Robert Morris, Haym Solomon was the one who negotiated for aid from the French and Dutch, and sold bills of exchange to American merchants. He also personally funded some of the Continental Congress members' trips and stay in Philidelphia, two of whom were James Madison and James Wilson. True to his Patriotic nature, he asked far below the interest rate that would be charged to others, and did not ask for repayment, even when he was in need himself. He also is presumed to have gifted men whom he believed were unsung heroes of the Revolution with funds. Some of the best evidence for this comes from the case of Dr. Bodo Otto, who was the senior surgeon for the Continental Army. Dr. Otto provided from his own funds the medical supplies for the Hospital at Valley Forge, for which Haym Solomon assisted him in rebuilding his medical practice in Reading, Pennsylvania after the war's end.
He was also faithful to his beliefs, having made the largest contribution toward Congregation Mikvah Israel's building fund. He defended his and others rights to hold office in Pennsylvania, sucessfully removing the religious test oath. His friend and Patriot Robert Morris introduced the bill to end the test laws in Pennsylvania. Solomon's answer to Anti-Semitic slander in the press?
"I am a Jew; It is my own nation, I do not despair that we shall obtain every other privilege that we aspire to enjoy along with our fellow citizens."
(thanks to Wikipedia for the information here. My other potential source, which contained the stamp you can see at wiki has been misplaced. Hopefully I will find it soon)