EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is information about the $1 bill which was forwarded to the Tribune via email. Who was Haym Solomon? There is much information on websites about the Polish Jew who immigrated to New York during the American Revolution and served George Washington’s Continental Army. The information about the $1 bill is fascinating, whether entirely true or not. Here is a description:
On the rear of the one dollar bill, are two circles. Together, they comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took those four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved. In the left-hand circle is a Pyramid.
Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just in its infancy, just getting started. The pyramid is uncapped, again signifying not even being close to being finished. Inside the capstone is the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that one man could not do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.
NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM is the Latin motto suggested in 1782 by Charles Thomson, the founding father chosen by Continental Congress to come up with the final design for the Great Seal of the United States.
Although Thomson did not provide an exact translation of the motto, he explained its meaning in conjunction with the date 1776 on the foundation of the pyramid:
“The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence and the words under it signify the beginning of the new American Era, which commences from that date.”
An accurate translation of Novus Ordo Seclorum is “A New Order of the Ages.”
The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means, ‘God has favored our undertaking.’ At the base of the pyramid is the Roman numeral for 1776. (MDCCLXXVI)
View the right-hand circle—it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Fla. National Cemetery, and is the centerpiece of most heroes’ monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States, and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet very few people know what the symbols mean.
The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own.
The U.S. was coming together as one nation. In the Eagle’s beak reads, ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM’ meaning, ‘from many—one.’
Above the Eagle, are the 13 stars, representing the 13 original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but the U.S. will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.
They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. Usually there is never a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this:
13 original colonies
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence became governors of their respective states
13 stripes on our flag
13 steps on the Pyramid
13 letters in ‘Annuit Coeptis’
13 letters in ‘E Pluribus Unum’
13 stars above the Eagle
13 bars on that shield
13 leaves on the olive branch
Notice the arrangement of the 13 stars in the right-hand circle. They are arranged as a Star of David. This is not something that happened by chance.This was ordered by George Washington who, when he asked Haym Solomon, a wealthy Philadelphia Jew, what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army, Solomon said he wanted nothing for himself but that he would like something for his people. The Star of David was the result.
What was Haym Solomon’s service to the Continental Army? Haym Solomon (1740 - Jan. 6, 1785) was a Polish Jew who immigrated to New York during the period of the American Revolution. He became a prime financier of the American side during the American Revolutionary War. Haym Solomon gave his own money to financially support the Continental Army, money that was extremely important to win independence from England.
Sympathetic to the Patriot cause, Haym Solomon joined the New York branch of the Sons of Liberty. In September 1776, he was arrested by the British as a spy but was pardoned after serving only 18 months of his sentence. Being fluent in several languages, in prison he used his position to help prisoners of the British escape and encouraged the Hessians to desert the war effort. In 1778 Solomon was arrested again and sentenced to death, but he managed to escape, whereupon he made his way with his family to the capital in Philadelphia.
The colonies were battling against an extremely wealthy enemy, the British Empire. The revolutionary cause, in contrast, was in dire financial straits. Keeping the American forces supplied with arms, food, and other supplies, was a daunting task. Solomon came to know many leading figures in Philadelphia during this time, and brokered a loan of $400,000 that gave George Washington, head of the Continental Army, funds to pay his soldiers in 1779.
In August 1781, the Continental Army had cornered General Charles Cornwallis in the little Virginia coastal town of Yorktown. George Washington and the main army and the Count de Rochambeau with his French army decided to march from the Hudson Highlands to Yorktown and deliver the final blow. But Washington’s war chest was completely empty, as was that of Congress. Washington determined that he needed at least $20,000 to finance the campaign. When Morris told him there were no funds and no credit available, Washington gave him a simple but eloquent order: “Send for Haym Solomon.”
Haym once again came through for the Americans, and the $20,000 was raised. Washington conducted the Yorktown campaign, which proved to be the final battle of the Revolution, thanks to Haym solomon.
Solomon negotiated the sale of a majority of the war aid from France and Holland, selling bills of exchange to American merchants. Solomon also personally supported various members of the Continental Congress during their stay in Philadelphia, including James Madison and James Wilson. Acting as the patriot he was, he requested below market interest rates, and he never asked for repayment.
The Treaty of Paris signed on 03 September 1783, ended the Revolutionary War but not the financial problems of the newly established nation. It was Haym Solomon who managed, time-after-time, to raise the money to bail out the debt-ridden government. In all, the sum that Solomon advanced to help the war cause was over $658,000.
Adjusted for inflation, he gave the sum equivalent to $40 billion in today’s currency.