Sale 19BP01 | Lot 42

SALOMON, HAYM Endorsing signature on check signed by Robert Morris (Signer from Pennsylvania).

Catalogue: Rare Books, Autographs & Maps
SALOMON, HAYM  Endorsing signature on check signed by Robert Morris (Signer from Pennsylvania).

Lot Details

Lot 42
SALOMON, HAYM Endorsing signature on check signed by Robert Morris (Signer from Pennsylvania).
Paris: 22 October 1782. Printed check "Pour Compte des Etats Unis de L'Amerique, Philadelphie..." accomplished in manuscript and drawing six hundred and fifty-six lives Tournois to be paid to Haym Salomon, signed in on the recto "Robt. Morris/Sy. of Finance" and endorsed in ink on the verso "Haym Salomon", the check written to Monsieur Grand at the Bank of Paris. 3 3/4 x 9 1/2 inches (9.5 x 24 cm); housed in a double sided framed with a portrait and plaque. A few repairs to folds or small ink burned areas, some running of ink to manuscript on both recto and verso.

A true rarity of American Revolutionary finance and Jewish-American history: a war-date endorsing signature of Haym Salomon on a check issued by Robert Morris as Superintendent of Finance.

Polish born Haym Salomon (1740-1785) was a principal financier of the fledgling American republic during the American Revolution. Salomon arrived in America in 1775, established himself as a financial broker for merchants engaging in foreign trade, and sympathetic to the American cause, joined the New York Sons of Liberty. He was arrested by the British as a spy in 1776 and pardoned only after 18 months aboard a British ship acting as an interpreter for Hessian troops. Arrested again in 1778 and sentenced to death, he escaped to Philadelphia and became an agent to the French consul there as well as the paymaster for the French forces in North America. By 1781 the finances of the republic were in shambles: the over printing of paper money had caused rampant inflation and Congress was powerless to raise revenue. In 1781, Salomon began working with the newly appointed Superintendent of Finance of the United States, Robert Morris, who had established the Bank of North America and relied on patriotic financiers such as Salomon to subscribe to the bank, find buyers for government bills of exchange, and lend personal funds to the government (he reportedly loaned $650,000 to the cause). His greatest contribution came in advance of the Yorktown Campaign when the unpaid, underfed and poorly equipped troops under General Washington were on the verge of mutiny and $20,000 was desperately needed but unavailable. General Washington famously demanded of Robert Morris: "Send for Haym Salomon."

Salomon's signature is rare in any context and we note few examples at auction. We trace only one war-date signature sold at auction in two decades, that also an endorsed check of the same date and amount and also signed by Morris (that example sold Sotheby's New York, 25 May 2016, lot 16).

Salomon is also an important figure in American Jewish history and was an original member of the Congregation Mickve Israel of Philadelphia.

C Property of a Palm Beach Collector

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

Additional Notes & Condition Report

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Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

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Rare Books, Autographs & Maps

Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 10am EDT
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