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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Vindication of an American Jewish Patriot

By Michael Feldberg


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The little known details of a man's courage, loyalty and willingness to expend his personal fortune for the cause of independence

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | David Salisbury Franks was a hero of the American Revolution. Ironically, because he was assigned as aide-de-camp to the traitorous Benedict Arnold, Franks' reputation was tainted. Although cleared on all charges of complicity in Arnold's efforts to surrender West Point to the British in 1780, Franks suffered from charges of disloyalty. Despite formal exoneration, Franks' reputation never fully recovered. Unfortunately, his name is rarely included in pantheon of first-rank Revolutionary heroes.


David S. Franks was born in Philadelphia around 1740 into a large and highly respected Jewish merchant family. As a young man, Franks' father relocated his branch of the family to Quebec. In 1775, on the eve of the Revolution, David S. Franks was living in Montreal, serving in the distinguished position of parnas (president) of the Spanish and Portuguese synagogue in that city, though he was of German Jewish descent. According to the late historian Jacob Rader Marcus, because Franks publicly defended the right of a protester to compare King George III of England to the Pope and call him a fool, Franks was jailed and held for 16 days. The experience converted him to the colonists' cause and, when the Continental Army invaded Quebec to "liberate" it from the British, Franks joined the revolutionaries. He was appointed paymaster of the Continental Army in Quebec and apparently expended his own funds to pay the salaries of the American volunteers.


When the American campaign faltered in Canada, Franks retreated to Philadelphia, reaching it in July 1776. He joined the Continental Army and served actively until October 1777. Because he spoke French, Franks was then assigned as liaison officer to the Comte d'Estaing, commander of the French naval forces fighting on the American side. Franks attained the rank of major and was assigned as aide-de-camp to Benedict Arnold, the military governor of Philadelphia. Arnold alienated several of the city's leading merchants and was given command of the strategic garrison at West Point, which controlled access to the upper reaches of the Hudson River.


When Arnold's treason became known, Franks fell under suspicion of complicity. The court martial dropped all charges against David Salisbury Franks on the ground that they were unfounded. Remarkably, Benedict Arnold himself wrote a letter from a British ship exonerating Franks. One can imagine, however, that a letter of support from the traitorous Arnold did little to restore Franks' good name.


After Franks was returned to active duty, General George Washington had him assigned to his command. However, the other officers of Franks' own regiment started a whispering campaign against him. Seeking to clear his name definitively, Franks asked General Washington to initiate another court-martial, one that would investigate — rather than simply drop — the scurrilous charges against him.


After a month-long investigation, the court issued a thorough report completely exonerating Franks. A promotion in rank immediately followed. Franks was entrusted by the State Department to carry highly secret documents to diplomats Benjamin Franklin in Paris and John Jay in Madrid. In 1783, Franks returned to Philadelphia, but soon left for Paris to deliver to Franklin the official copy of the peace treaty that ended the war and granted American independence. According to his accounts, Franks often paid more of his expenses than his beloved young nation could afford to reimburse.


At war's end, Franks was made American vice-consul at Marseilles. In 1786, he was appointed to the American diplomatic team that negotiated a trade treaty between the United States and the potentates of Morocco. Yet, political opponents pursued David S. Franks. To a degree not comprehensible today, politics in the 1780s was a "blood sport" in which it was commonplace to attack opponents with accusation of vile moral corruption. Despite his exoneration, Jeffersonian Republicans continued to attack Franks for his association with Benedict Arnold. In 1786, the attacks succeeded and Franks was dismissed from the diplomatic corps. He returned to the United States discredited and bankrupt.


Undaunted, Franks fought to restore his reputation. Several times, he petitioned President Washington for reappointment to the diplomatic service. Finally, in 1789, Congress granted Franks 400 acres of land in recognition of his service during the Revolutionary war. His last position was that of assistant cashier at the Bank of the United States in Philadelphia.


David Salisbury Franks died of yellow fever in October of 1793 at the age of 53. His fortune gone, a Christian neighbor rescued his corpse from the coroner's wagon before it went to potter's field. Franks today lies buried today in Philadelphia's Christ Church Burial Yard, saved from the pauper's fate but not among his fellow Jews.


Like so may other "minor" patriots, Franks' name is not well known today. His courage, loyalty and willingness to expend his personal fortune for the cause of independence, plus his dogged determination to clear his name, deserve remembrance. Had he not had the bad fortune to be assigned to serve under the infamous Benedict Arnold, that name might rank with that of Haym Salomon, Mordecai Sheftall and Francis Salvador among the best-known Jewish patriots of the American Revolution.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring articles. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Michael Feldberg is the director of the American Jewish Historical Society. Comment by clicking here.




Previously:

Mordecai Sheftall and the Wages of War
Haym Salomon: The rest of the story
Francis Salvador: Martyr of the American Revolution
How Hebrew came to Yale
The Making of a Jewish Citizen

© 2006, Michael Feldberg