By Daniel Arimborgo
Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, Borough President Claire Shulman, City Councilman Morton Povman (D-Forest Hills) and Community Board 8 District Manager Diane Cohen were to join Jewish war veterans in Flushing Meadows on Monday to honor Hyam Salomon.
Hyam Salomon Square, at the intersection of Main Street and Vleigh Place, was renovated at a cost of $65,000. The work, completed between March and May, included planting shrubs and installing wicker fencing, sidewalks and benches.
Born in Lissa, Poland, Salomon emigrated to New York in 1775. During the Revolutionary War, he was a distiller and provisioner for the American army. In 1778. Captured and imprisoned by the British in New York City for aiding the revolutionaries, he was condemned to death.
But since he could speak 10 languages, he was able to make himself useful to the British and was saved from the gallows. Continuing to help the revolutionary effort, he helped colonial prisoners escape the British. He was imprisoned again and tortured, but escaped and fled to Philadelphia where he started a successful brokerage business.
Using his own funds to buy bonds for the revolutionary effort, Salomon bought supplies and military equipment from the French. He also loaned money without interest to members of the Continental Congress, among them James Madison.
In 1781 Salomon became an assistant to Robert Morris, superintendent of the Office of Finance.
In 1784 Salomon expanded his business activities to New York, opening a brokerage and auctioneering house.
Salomon was never compensated by the government for his investment in continental stocks and bonds, and died impoverished in 1785 at age 45.
Efforts by Salomon