Jews made large contributions to U.S. independence

Posted on 05 July 2018 by admin

Hopefully, TJP readers both enjoyed and survived the Fourth of July fireworks and festivities without any negative results.
If you consider the more serious aspect of the holiday, remembering to give thanks to those who over 242 years ago fought to bring us independence, you must include the Jewish community as well.
While a small number of Jews chose to remain loyal to the King of England, the great majority joined the cause of freedom, contributing what they could in the fight for independence.
Haym Salomon is given credit for raising the necessary funds to help supply George Washington’s Army, but he also helped American prisoners escape even after he was arrested.
Salomon lost most of his savings in the process of helping fund Washington’s army.
Another who lost most of his fortune helping the Revolutionary cause was Aaron Lopez, supposedly the wealthiest Jew in America.
After he donated most of his savings to the patriots’ cause, his fleet of merchant ships and other property was confiscated by the British.
Francis Salvador, a South Carolina plantation owner, became known as the “Paul Revere of the South” for rousing and forming an army of over 300 men.
Salvador, the first Jew elected to a state colonial assembly, was sadly the first Jew killed in the Revolution.
Other notable Jewish patriots included Isaac Moses of Philadelphia, who donated 3,000 pounds to the war effort.
Mordecai Sheftal, a merchant, as colonel, was the highest-ranking Jewish soldier in Washington’s army. He was placed in charge of acquiring supplies for the revolutionary troops of Georgia and South Carolina, but was captured by the British.
Eventually released in a prisoner exchange, Sheftal sold shares in a privateer that joined other privateers in attacking, ransacking and destroying British merchant ships.
British ship owners and merchants in turn, began pressuring the British government to end the war in order to end further losses.
The Jewish population in 1775 numbered no more than 2,500 total, less than one-tenth of the total colonial population, but their influence in the successful outcome in America’s War for Independence was unquestionable.

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