HAYM SALOMON Biography - Fictional, Iconical & Mythological characters


Biography » fictional iconical mythological characters » haym salomon


Name: Haym Solomon                                                                     
Born: 1740                                                                             
Died: 1785                                                                             
Haym Solomon (or Salomon) (1740–1785) was a prime financier of the American side     
during the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain. A Jew, he was born       
in Leszno (Lissa), Poland, the son of a rabbi. He died in Philadelphia,               
Salomon came to New York from Poland in 1772 and joined the Sons of Liberty. In       
1776 he was captured by the British, but he used his knowledge of German to           
convince his Hessian jailer to let him out. It was during this period of               
incarceration that he contracted tuberculosis. After this he left New York and         
joined up with the American forces who were evacuating New York at the time. He       
traveled south with Washington's Army and eventually settled in Philadelphia.         
While in Philadelphia he married Rachael Franks, the daughter of loyalist             
merchant and slave trader David Franks, of Philadelphia. They kept one slave, a       
young woman who helped Mrs. Solomon in their home.                                     
Salomon was an astute merchant and auctioneer who succeeded in accumulating a         
fortune, which he subsequently devoted to the use of the American government           
during the American Revolution. For example, he personally supported various           
members of the Continental Congress during their stay in Philadelphia, including       
James Madison. Acting as the patriot he was, he never asked for repayment.             
Solomon also negotiated the sale of a majority of the war aid from France and         
Holland, selling bills of exchange to American merchants.                             
He sold bills of exchange for the French, and those funds went to pay the French       
military during their stay in Philadelphia. That is why some people think he was       
the paymaster-general of the French military forces in the early years of the         
United States.                                                                         
Often working out of the "London Coffee House" in Philadelphia, he acted as a         
broker for the Office of Finance. Solomon sold about $600,000 in Bills of             
Exchange to his clients, netting about 2.5% per sale. During this period he had       
to turn to his client in the Office of Finance, Robert Morris (merchant), when         
one sale of over $50,000 nearly sent him to prison. Morris used his position and       
influence to sue the defrauder and saved Solomon from default and disaster.           
When Solomon died it was discovered he had been speculating in various                 
currencies and debt instruments. At that time his family sold them at market           
rates, which were highly depreciated because of the weakened state of the             
American economy in the 1780's. Subsequent generations misunderstood his truly         
patriotic actions and appealed to Congress for more money, but were turned down       
twice. A myth grew up that he had lent the young United States government about       
$600,000, and at his death about $400,000 of this amount had not been repaid.         
This sum was added to what he really had lent to statesmen and others while           
performing public duties and trusts. Jacob Bader Marcus wrote in Early American       
Jewry that the sum owed to Solomon was $800,000. That amount in 1785 is               
equivalent in purchasing power to about $39,264,947,368.42 (using relative share       
of GDP which indicates purchasing power) in 2005 US dollars.                           
It is said that during the American Revolution, Solomon went to France and             
raised an additional £3.5 million from the Sassoon and Rothschild banking houses     
and families.                                                                         
An unlikely claim, David Sassoon was not born yet in Baghdad and would later           
start up his counting house in Bombay, India not in France. Likewise, the             
Rothschild family had not set up a bank in France yet either. At the time of the       
Revolutionary war, the Rothschild's partriach, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder       
of the banking dynasty, was still in Hesse-Kassel loyally serving its Prince,         
Wilhelm IX, who aided the British against the Americans by supplying England           
with his Hessian mercenaries.                                                         
He spoke eight languages. When Solomon was in France, he passed                       
himself off as a French diplomat. Unfortunately for this heroic tale, it does         
not conform to the known facts. It is true his co-religionist, David S. Franks,       
did help Adams negotiate loans from Holland, however - there is nothing in the         
record to show that Solomon himself went to Europe for this purpose.                   
After a solid career in Philadelphia he saw opportunity in a different state.         
His former client, Robert Morris (merchant) tried to help him establish himself       
in New York. He died shortly after he had decided to move back to city and             
become an auctioneer there.