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Abravanel, Don Isaac
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Ochs, Adolph
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Salk, Jonas
Salomon, Haym
Santangel, Luis de
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Medal by Paul Vincze (1973), Haym Salomon, Patriot.

Haym Salomon (1740-1785)

In the early 1770s, at the time of the partition of Poland, Haym Salomon left his family and arrived in New York on the eve of the Revolution. His command of German made him welcome to the Hessian forces, which he served as a supplier of goods. When the British suspected him of spying, Salomon was arrested and confined to prison for a time.

Salomon's command of several languages enabled him to serve as a broker to the French officials in Philadelphia. In the diary of Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance for the new American government, Salomon's name appears frequently in the period 1781-84. Morris wrote: "This broker has been useful to the public interests ..." Salomon prospered and was able to be financially helpful to a number of public figures, such as Alexander Hamilton and James Madison. In 1782, Madison acknowledged the "kindness of our little friend in Front Street, whose assistance will preserve me from extremities but I never resort to it without great mortification as he obstinately rejects all recompense."

When Haym Salomon died prematurely in January 1785, he held $353,000, largely in depreciated certificates of indebtedness and continental currency ... all virtually worthless. The Pennsylvania Packet wrote "He was remarkable for his skill and integrity in his profession and for his generous and humane deportment."

Jewish Affairs

Haym Salomon was actively involved in Jewish community affairs. He was a member of Mikveh Israel Congregation in Philadelphia, and made the largest single contribution to the erection of its first building in 1782. The following year, Salomon joined with other prominent Jews in an address to the Pennsylvania Council of Censors urging them to remove the religious test oath required for office-holding under the State Constitution. And in 1784, he answered a personal slander in the press by proclaiming boldly: "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."
(Extracted from a paper by Dr. Samuel Rezneck, Professor Emeritus of History, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

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