Sunday, April 12, 2015

Haym Salomon and The Revolutionary War

Haym Salomon and The Revolutionary War

Haym Salomon (Solomon) was an early American financier and patriot of Jewish-Portuguese origin, who was born in Lissa, Poland in 1740. He went to America following some revolutionary activities in defense of Polish liberty. When he arrived in New York, he established himself as a commission merchant, and his personality and keen discernment soon made him a successful financier. During the American Revolutionary War, Salomon was with the patriotic party known as "Sons of Liberty." This was a secret organization of American patriots that originated in Boston to protest the Stamp Act of 1765.
British authorities and their supporters known as Loyalists considered the Sons of Liberty as seditious rebels, calling them sons of violence and sons of iniquity. The Son's  motto became "No taxation without representation."At right is a sketch of the Boston Tea Pary protest.  Their membership was mostly from the middle and upper ranks of colonial society. Some of the more famous members were Samual Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, James Otis, Paul Revere, and Doctor Joseph Warren , who was killed at Bunker Hill. Within a short time Haym Salonon was made financial agent of the French government, for which services he accepted no commission. His ability and patriotic activities brought him to the attention of Robert Morris, who assigned him to the office of superintendent of finance, where he handled all the bills of exchange.
Among his many other contributions to the colonies, Salomon subscribed heavily to government loans, endorsed notes, gave generously to soldiers and statesmen, and equipped several military units with his own money. He was made interpreter during the war, and was permitted to go into the British lines, but on two occasions was thrown into prison. He escaped, but suffered ill health from exposure, which later led to his death.
While living in Philadelphia (1778-85), Salomon initiated a measure in behalf of Jewry in the state of Pennsylvania which later resulted in more liberal conditions of employment for them. At that time, persons seeking to qualify for civic employment in Pennsylvania were required to take an oath affirming their belief in the New as well as the Old Testaments. Salomon presented a petition to the Council of Censors on Dec. 23, 1783, in which he requested the removal of this condition, so that public service might not be closed to orthodox Jews. Later, the constitution of the state was so amended. Salomon died in Philadelphia, Pa., on Jan. 6, 1785.
One Small Request
On the rear of the One Dollar bill, you will see two circles.  Together, they comprise the Great Seal of the United States .
The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal.  It took them four years to a accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the f ace is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning.  We had not begun to explore the west or decided what we could do for Western Civilization.  The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished.  Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity.  It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything. "In God We Trust" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means "God has favored our undertaking." The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means "a new order has begun." At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776 (MDCCLXXVI). If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you'll learn that it's on every National Cemetery in the United States. It's also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States, and is always visible whenever he speaks. It's interesting that very few people know what the symbols mean.
The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it.  Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak you will read,  E PLURIBUS UNUM meaning, one from many.'

Above the Eagle, you have the thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one.
Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows.  This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace.  The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.

They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number.  This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think a bout this:


13 original  colonies
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence
13 stripes on our flag
13 steps on the Pyramid
13 letters in Annuit Coeptis
13 letters in E Pluribus Unum
13 stars above the Eagle
13 bars on that shield
13 leaves on the olive branch
13 fruits
13 arrows


And finally, if you notice the arrangement of the
13 stars in the right-hand circle you will see that they are arranged as a Star of David.  This was ordered by George Washington when he asked Haym Salomon what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army. Salomon said he wanted nothing for himself but that he would like something for his people. The Star of David was the result. Few people know that it was Salomon who saved the Army through his financial contributions. He died a pauper.


Why don't we know these things? I didn't realize what was involved until the story of the dollar arrived in an email. That began my search for more knowledge, and made me vividly aware of  the never ending war to keep the freedoms we take for granted. It reminded me of my mother's fears that America had gone back to what the colonists fought against during the Revolutionary War...the old King's law and taxation. So many valiant men have given so much to never let the recognition of our freedoms fade, yet remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Like me, the next time you look at an American dollar bill you'll probably think about the terrible price of freedom.

A Chicago, Illinois statue of Haym Salomon  standing between George Washington  and Robert Morris.

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