Haym Salomon was an American businessman and broker who was responsible for raising most of the money needed to finance the American Revolution. Salomon was born in Poland in 1740, the son of Jewish parents who fled Portugal to escape religious persecution. He migrated to New York in 1772 after an unsuccessful Polish struggle for freedom and became successful as a merchant and financier. Salomon soon became a colonial sympathizer in the fight for American independence and joined the Sons of Liberty. When the war broke out, he subscribed heavily to government loans, endorsed notes, gave generously to soldiers, and equipped several military units with his own money. None of the loans were ever repaid. On occasion Salomon’s work took him behind British lines in New York City, and he was arrested twice as a spy. In 1778, under sentence of death and with his property confiscated, he managed to escape and fled penniless to Philadelphia. Salomon resumed his brokerage business and continued to assist the cause for independence. In August of 1781, as the Continental Army was preparing to march to Yorktown to engage the British, Gen. George Washington learned the government had no funds or credit to finance the campaign. Washington gave the order, “Send for Haym Salomon.” Through Salomon’s efforts, $20,000 was raised and the Continental Army went on to defeat Cornwallis at Yorktown. After the war, Salomon continued to raise money to help the debt-ridden government. Haym Salomon died in 1785, leaving a wife and four children and debts larger than his estate.
From Jauflione Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution