The Haym Salomon Center is honored to be named for Revolutionary War hero Haym Salomon. Known as the “Financier of the Revolutionary War,” Salomon was born in 1740 to an Ashkenazi Jewish family descended from Spanish and Portuguese Jews who migrated to the Jewish communities of Poland as a result of the Spanish Inquisition. Before immigrating to New York in 1775, he spent several years traveling throughout Europe, learning multiple languages and acquiring a knowledge of finance and foreign currencies.
After hearing about the battle at Lexington and Concord, he sympathized with the Patriot cause and soon joined the Sons of Liberty where he became skilled at espionage which would lead to his first arrest by the British. During his imprisonment he spoke to his Hessian guards–German soldiers in their native language. He convinced them to switch sides. After a second arrest he was sentenced to death, but escaped, believed to be with help from the Sons of Liberty.
Salomon would resettle in Philadelphia were he resumed his activities as a broker. He became the agent to the French consul as well as the paymaster for the French forces in North America. In 1781, he began working extensively with Robert Morris, the newly appointed Superintendent for Finance for the Thirteen Colonies. Salomon fundraising and personal lending helped provide over $650,000 (approximately $8.8 billion in 2013 dollars) in financing to George Washington in his war effort. Prior to the final battle at Yorktown, Washington ran out of money for supplies and compensation for the troops. Salomon raised the final $20,000 to fund and ultimately win the Revolutionary War.