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October 20: Solomon Bush and the American Revolution

October 19, 2015

"The Nation Makers" by Howard PyleTwenty-four-year-old Solomon Bush, a member of the revolutionary Pennsylvania militia who had been dangerously wounded and taken prisoner (and then paroled) by the British in the September, 1777 Battle of Brandywine, received special notice from the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania on this date in 1779 in a resolution that honored his service to the cause and granted him pay and “rations Equal to his Rank” (lieutenant-colonel). Bush was nevertheless in destitute circumstances a few years later, and in November, 1785 the Pennsylvania council, led by Benjamin Franklin, ordered that a pension be paid to him. Bush died ten years later. His father, Mathias, had emigrated from Bohemia in the 1740s and was among several conspicuous Jewish merchants of Philadelphia who signed the Non-Import Resolution of 1765, calling for a boycott of British goods in protest of the Stamp Act. “Signers of the non-importation resolution,” notes the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, “were agreeing to a contract that would prohibit them from accessing nearly all regularly imported products, from luxuries like tea to goods used in daily life.... That there were very few violations of the boycott illustrates the dedication American merchants had to their cause.... Realizing that the tax was losing more money than it was earning, Parliament repealed the Stamp Act in 1766.”

“In 1782 [Solomon] Bush contributed toward a new building for the Mikveh Israel Congregation in Philadelphia. A prominent Mason, Bush also joined the Quaker Abolitionist Society. At his own request he was buried in the Friends Burial Ground in Philadelphia.” —Jewish Virtual Library