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from the dust jacket of the 1941 Julian Messner edition

Haym Salomon, Son of Liberty

This is the story of a business man who was a great American patriot. It is also the story of some of the things that lay behind the American Revolution.

It is about a Jew -- Haym Salomon [1740-1785] -- a banker and broker who dies in an unsung battle, that his country might be free.

The American Revolution was waged not only on the field of battle but in the long underground struggle that went on in the commerce marts of Philadelphia. Here is the story of all those men who fought long, silently, and uncomplainingly against the three great enemies of young America, poverty, starvation, and bankruptcy.

For without their contribution of money to pay for the troops, to buy food and guns, even George Washington could not have kept an army in the field. The Revolution lived, in great part, because these men believed in it, because they stood as security for a nation that had no security.

When Haym Salomon escaped from the British in New York and made his way to Philadelphia in 1778, he arrived alone and penniless and friendless. But he came with a dream of what America might be and with an unflagging determination to play his part in the making of a country.

How he built up a fortune out of nothing, how he laid that fortune at the service of the Revolution, and how he helped to rescue the tottering finances of his country is all told here.

It is a story of old New York and old Philadelphia, of a colonial city of thirty thousand souls suddenly thrust into the spotlight as the capital of free America.

Through the pages of the book and the streets of the city march all the colorful characters of the time -- war profiteers, patriots, revolutionists, blockade runners, privateers and pirates, congressmen, army officers, commission men, spies and counter spies, Tories and republicans...

It is a humanized section of history -- a story never before fully told for young people -- which helps to define for them some of the ingredients which went into the making of America.