Lot 107: November 15 1775 FRANCIS SALVADOR Signed South Carolina Provincial Congress Note
Historic Autographs, Civil War Encased Postage Stamps, Colonial, Revolutionary War, Federal Era, Coins, Currency, Medals
December 10, 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
Famous Signers on Colonial Currency
Exceedingly Rare FRANCIS SALVADOR Signed November 15, 1775 South Carolina Provincial Congress Note The First Jew Elected to Public Office in America and to Die fighting in the American Revolutionary War
FRANCIS SALVADOR (1747 - August 1, 1776). First person of the Jewish religion to be Elected to Public Office in America, and the First Jewish American Patriot to be Killed in the American Revolutionary War on August 1, 1776.
Fr. SC-104. South Carolina Provincial Congress. November 15, 1775. Five Shillings. Signed, "F. Salvador." Very Fine. Francis Salvador was a young English plantation owner in the Colony of South Carolina from the Sephardic Jewish community of London. In 1774 he was the first Jew to be elected to public office in the colonies when chosen for the first Provincial Congress. He had joined the Independence cause, and in 1776 was the first Jew killed in the American Revolutionary War, fighting with the militia on the South Carolina frontier against British Loyalists and their Cherokee allies. As a delegate to South Carolina's Provincial Congress, Salvador was the first Jew elected to public office in the Thirteen Colonies in North America. He was reelected to the second Provincial Congress in 1775, holding the post until his death. At the time, Jews legally could neither hold office nor vote, but no colonists objected.
This exact note has been removed from a PCGS graded Very Fine-20 holder (tag included) by the consignor for expert conservation due to its tremendous historical importance. The signature "F. Salvador" has not been touched. A couple of old stamp hinges were removed from the blank reverse side and some splits and minor chips were conserved from the reverse along the centerfold. This note has excellent centering with all four of its outer border designs printed perfectly upon the paper. All text and design elements are in rich black, being sharply displayed and bold for overall choice eye appeal. As we have experienced in the past, Salvador has written his signature in a tan ink which is clearly visible yet light in appearance. That is simply how he wrote his signature and is consistent with the few other examples we have previously cataloged. The last example we offered was EAHA Auction, December 13, 1997, Lot 211, graded VF, selling for $4,025. Serious collectors should bid liberally as Francis Salvador's signature is simply so rare that another may not appear for another two decades!
Francis Salvador was the first Jew to both be elected to a Public Office in America, and to die in the American Revolutionary War on August 1, 1776, just following the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Colonies. Salvador was killed leading a little army of 330 men who were defending the frontier settlers against the Cherokee Indians, who had been incited by the British. The battleground was near his plantation along the Keowee River in South Carolina. His exploits as an officer quickly earned him the title of the "Paul Revere of the South."
Salvador was the son of a wealthy London family who grew tired of living the life of a "dandy." In 1773, he decided to set sail for the colonies and he settled in South Carolina. His ability for leadership was quickly recognized and he was elected a delegate for his area to the first South Carolina Provincial Congress.
Salvador, serving as a delegate in Charleston, eamed the esteem and friendship of such eminent colonials as Edward Rutledge, Patrick Calhoun, and Charles Pinckney, who later uttered the imperishable words "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!"
In his brief life, Salvador acquired many honors, which included a commission to sign and stamp South Carolina currency, serving as financial adviser to the Assembly, participating in reorganizing the courts and the selection of magistrates and serving as adviser to the Assembly election procedures. He also participated in drafting South Carolina's Constitution.
Salvador was only 29 years old when he was killed, but he had already established himself as a soldier, statesman, and leader.
He was the forerunner of the many Jews who would fight and, if necessary, be killed in defending the United States from its enemies. His brief life gave abundant nourishment to his beloved South Carolina and to the roots of our great nation.
Florida Atlantic University Libraries, Jewish Heroes and Heroines in America from Colonial Times to 1900, by Seymour "Sy" Brody.
Francis Salvador acquired 7,000 acres (28 km2) in Ninety Six District, Carolina Colony, and emigrated intending to send for his wife, Sarah, and their four children as soon as he was able. Arriving in Charleston in December 1773, Salvador quickly joined the American cause. He became close friends with the rising leaders of the Revolution in the South, including Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Rutledge, William Henry Drayton, Henry Laurens, and Samuel Hammond.
Buying African slaves to work his land, In 1774 Salvador settled at Coroneka (commonly called Cornacre), joined for a while by his friend Richard A. Rapley, as neither wanted to live alone.
They were both elected as delegates to South Carolina's Provincial Congress; Salvador was the first Jew elected to public office in the Thirteen Colonies in North America. He was re-elected to the second Provincial Congress in 1775, holding the post until his death.
At the time, Jews legally could neither hold office nor vote, but no colonists objected when Salvador, and his friend Richard A. Rapley were elected as two among the several frontier representatives from Ninety-Six District to the Provincial Congress. They were joined by Andrew Williamson, then a major in the militia.
When the Provincial Congress first met in Charleston in January 1775, Salvador was chosen for important committee assignments: drawing up the declaration of the purpose of the congress to the people; obtaining ammunition; assessing the safety of the frontier, and working on the new state constitution. The group also framed a bill of rights and composed an address to South Carolina's Royal Governor, setting forth the colonists' complaints against the Crown. Salvador was appointed to a commission that tried to convince the Tories in the northern and western parts of the colony to join the American cause.
The second Provincial Congress assembled in November 1775. Salvador was one of the champions for independence; he urged his fellow delegates to instruct the colony's delegation to the Continental Congress to cast their vote for independence. Salvador chaired the Ways and Means Committee of this second Provincial Congress, at the same time serving on a select committee authorized to issue Bills of Credit as payment to members of the militia. He was also selected for a commission to preserve the peace in the interior parts of South Carolina.
Early in 1776 the British had induced Indian allies to attack the South Carolina frontier to create a diversion in favor of British operations on the sea-coast. On July 1, 1776, the Indians began attacking frontier families in Ninety Six District. Salvador rode from his lands to the White Hall plantation of Major Andrew Williamson, 28 miles (45 km) away, to raise the alarm. Salvador took part in the engagements that followed. On July 31, Major Williamson captured two white Loyalists. They led his 330-men militia into an ambush by their fellow Tories and Cherokee allies at the Keowee River. Alexander Cameron, deputy to Captain John Stuart, led the Tory forces. Salvador was shot and fell into the bushes, but was discovered and scalped by the Cherokee that night. He died from his wounds at age 29.
Concerning his death, Colonel William Thomson wrote to William Henry Drayton, in a letter dated "Camp, two miles below Keowee [a Cherokee town], August 4th, 1776, as follows:
"Here, Mr. Salvador received three wounds; and, fell by my side... I desired [Lieutenant Farar], to take care of Mr. Salvador; but, before he could find him in the dark, the enemy unfortunately got his scalp: which, was the only one taken... He died, about half after two o'clock in the morning: forty-five minutes after he received the wounds, sensible to the last. 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."
A patriot journal, The Rememerance, wrote of Salvador: "he was universally loved and esteemed."