In 1783, American forces recaptured New York City, clearing the way for the return of Jews who had been forced to flee when the British captured New York City in 1776. Jewish leaders were in danger due to their public support of the American Revolution. Perhaps the best-known was Haym Salomon, an immigrant from Poland, who worked as an undercover agent for George Washington. Salomon was arrested in 1778, accused of plotting to destroy British property in New York. Salomon was condemned to death for sabotage, but bribed his guard while awaiting execution, and escaped to Philadelphia. Salomon was an astute merchant and banker, and succeeded in accumulating a huge fortune which he used to finance the Revolution and later to save the new nation from financial collapse. When Salomon died at age 45 of tuberculosis, he was bankrupt and the U.S. government owed him $700,000 in unpaid loans. In 1975, the U.S. issued a postage stamp in his honor.
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