I have researched and put together a series on African American heroes, patriots and founding fathers of America. Most of them were slaves so many of them have little recorded about their lives. As I did this research I was amazed at the impact these people had on our country and I had never heard of many of them. I hope you will step back into time with me and learn about these forgotten Americans. I encourage you to research them more if one of their stories touches you.
Haym Salomon (1740-1785)
Haym Salomon was a devout Jew. He was born in Poland and fought for its independence. After that effort failed, he fled to America to join the fight for her independence.
At the time when the British held New York, Salomon is known for helping hide patriots. One night he was helping an injured soldier to safety behind Patriot lines. He was spotted! Salomon jumped off the wagon causing a distraction so the soldier could escape. For going against British rules, he was arrested and sentenced to die. The night before his hanging, he escaped. He was not done fighting for independence.
In the fall of 1779, Patriot troops, unpaid for months, refused to fight. Robert Morris was a financier of the war. On Yom Kippur, the solemn day of fasting and prayer, Morris sent a plea of help to Salomon. Right then in the synagogue, Salomon got pledges for support. When the holy day ended, he sent Mr. Morris the money he needed.
Over two hundred years later, a citation accompanying a stamp was issued in honor of Haym Salomon. The citation declared that Salomon’s work as a financier helped “save the new nation from collapse.”
Heroes of the Revolution. Adler, David. Holiday House Publishers. New York City, NY. 2003