Page 13 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 33

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STEINBACH / INTRODUCTION
3
who is a WASP prototype; Israel Efros, now residing in Israel,
found intense interest in the American Indian and wrote a
beautiful idyllic narrative
Silent Wigwams;
Ephraim Lisitsky
wrote a series of lyrics and ballads regarding the trials and tribu­
lations of the American Negro, and published them under the
title
In the Tents of Cush.
Joseph C. Landis attempts a similar
objective in his “America and Yiddish Literature.” In toto, these
papers constitute an illuminating Bicentennial Supplement.
According to Prof. Jacob R. Marcus, Director of American
Jewish Archives quartered in Cincinnati, the Jewish population
during the American Revolution totaled a maximum of 2,500
men, women and children, approximately one-tenth of 1 percent
of the total population. They were burdened with a humiliating
political status as second-class citizens, denied the vote in some
colonies and forbidden to hold office in all the colonies. New
York was the first to grant the Jews full political equality, and
Virginia followed in 1786, with Thomas Jefferson’s Bill for Estab­
lishing Religious Freedom. Other commonwealths were slow to
honor the commitments implicit in their individual bills of
rights. In 1877, a century after the New York Jews were granted
emancipation, the final laggard state, New Hampshire, permitted
Jews and Catholics to serve in legislative office.
Mention must be made here of Haym Salomon, the Polish-born
immigrant who raised large sums of money to equip the troops.
It is ironic that this staunch patriot enjoyed second-class citizen­
ship; Pennsylvania, the state where he resided, removed its dis­
criminatory Christian test oath five years after his death in 1785.
Some amends have been made by the recent issue of a special
Haym Salomon Bicentennial postage stamp. It is a very beautiful
and meaningful stamp,
l i /2"
x 1", portraying a robust figure in
red colonial costume seated at his desk wielding a feather-quill.
Against a blue-brown background, in conspicuous Old-English
lettering, is the rubric: CONTRIBUTORS TO THE CAUSE.
The bottom line, black lettering on white, reads: Haym Salo­
mon*
Financial Hero.
Printed on back of each stamp is this
statement: “Businessman and broker Haym Salomon was respon­
sible for raising most of the money needed to finance the Ameri­
can Revolution and later to save the new nation from collapse.”
The American Jewish community now numbers 6,000,000,
three percent of the population, and together with our fellow-