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August 1: The Jewish Revolutionist

August 1, 2013
medFrancis_Salvador PlaqueLondon-born Francis Salvador became the first Jew killed in the American Revolution on this date in 1776. Fighting loyalists and Indians on the western frontier of South Carolina, the 29-year-old member of the colony’s General Assembly was shot and scalped. As a delegate to the South Carolina Provincial Congress, meeting in January and in November, 1775, Salvador had helped frame a bill of rights and a petition to the colony’s royal governor, and had served on a commission that sought to convince loyalists in the northern and western parts of South Carolina to join the Revolution, which Salvador vociferously championed. The city of Charleston unveiled a monument to Salvador in 1950, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the city’s Jewish congregation. “Born an aristocrat,” it says, “he became a democrat;/ An Englishman, he cast his lot with the Americans;/ True to his ancient faith, he gave his life;/ For new hopes of human liberty and understanding.” “When I came up to him, after dislodging the enemy, and speaking to him, he asked, whether I had beat the enemy? I told him yes. He said he was glad of it, and shook me by the hand – and bade me farewell -- and said, he would die in a few minutes.” —Colonel William Thomsen JEWDAYO ROCKS! Adam Duritz, singer and songwriter for Counting Crows, was born in Baltimore on this date in 1964. Look below to see them performing “Hanginaround.”