web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Adolphus S. Solomons: Forgotten 19th Century Communal Activist


Adolphus Simson Solomons

Adolphus Simson Solomons

There are many observant Jews who contributed much to secular and Jewish life in America and yet have, unfortunately, been essentially forgotten. One such man is Adolphus Simson Solomons (1826-1910).

Solomons was active in a plethora of communal causes and organizations. A founder of the American Red Cross and a close friend of Abraham Lincoln’s, he took an active part in the development of Washington, D.C., though he declined President Grant’s request to serve as governor of the District (during a brief period of self-government) because the position required work on Shabbos.

The material below is taken from Necrology by Louis Marshall, Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, 20, 1911, pages 166-170):

Adolphus S. Solomons…. was born in the city of New York on October 26, 1826. His father, John Solomons, came to the United States from England in 1810, and was associated with James Watson Webb in conducting the New York Courier and Enquirer. His mother was Julia, a daughter of Simeon Levy.He received his education at the University of the State of New York. On his graduation be engaged in mercantile pursuits, in which he continued for many years, finally establishing the publishing house of Philp & Solomons in Washington. At the age of fourteen he enlisted as a color guard in the Third Regiment of the New York State Militia, known as the Washington Greys, and later became a sergeant. In 1851 he was appointed by Daniel Webster, then Secretary of State, as a special bearer of despatches abroad. On his return he took an active part in the organization of the Jewish Hospital of New York, which had been founded by Sampson Simson, from which developed the palatial Mount Sinai Hospital of today.

On his removal to Washington, he took an active part in the development of that city, and in 1871 became the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the District of Columbia. He became prominent in all public activities at the Nation’s capital, and was on terms of cordial friendship with Abraham Lincoln, the last photograph of the martyred president having been taken at Mr. Solomons’s place of business.

He was one of the founders of the Garfield Hospital, established in commemoration of the president, and continued an active director of that institution until his death. He projected the free night lodging-house for men, which is now the Municipal Lodging-House of Washington.

For fifty years he was a member of the board of directors of Columbia Hospital, and for many years was in the directorate of the Providence Hospital at Washington. He was the organizer of the first training school for nurses in the District of Columbia. The Red Cross Society held its first meeting at his home, being called into existence as the result of his initiative. For seventeen years he was an active member of the National Association of the Red Cross, and one of its two vice-presidents. President Arthur appointed him, with Clara Barton, to represent the United States Government at the International Congress of the Red Cross, which was held at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1881, and he was elected vice-president of that Congress. He was one of the five original members of the New York Executive Board of the Red Cross Relief Committee. He was regarded by men of every shade of thought as one of the first citizens of Washington.

Early in its history he became affiliated with the Alliance Israelite Universelle, and continued to be the American representative of its Central Committee, and its treasurer for the United States, until his death.

On the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Sir Moses Montefiore, he advocated the establishment of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids in the city of New York, to commemorate that occasion, and he ever after continued to be a member of the board of that great benefaction.

From the time of the organization of the Jewish Theological Seminary Association of New York until it became merged with the Jewish Theological Seminary of America [JTS was originally founded as an Orthodox institution of higher education], he was a trustee of that organization, being its acting president at the time of the merger. He was largely instrumental in the formation of the present seminary, and was one of its charter members and life directors. His interest in that institution was unflagging and intelligent, and it was largely due to his sincere devotion for what he considered a sacred cause that it became revivified and powerful.

About the Author: Dr. Yitzchok Levine served as a professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey before retiring in 2008. He now teaches as an adjunct at Stevens. Glimpses Into American Jewish History appears the first week of each month. Dr. Levine can be contacted at llevine@stevens.edu.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Adolphus S. Solomons: Forgotten 19th Century Communal Activist”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
One of the photos displaying wares for sale on the Baqiyah Creation page on Facebook. Sept. 20, 2014.
Pricey ISIS ‘Chotchkes’ on Amazon, Facebook For Sale
Latest Sections Stories
Calmer Times. Breslov chassidim on erev Rosh Hashanah in 2012 at the grave of Rav Nachman in Uman.

As optimistic as Menachem Rosenberg is – and he said he is going to Uman – he’s sure that this year, most of the travelers will not tour other religious sites or places in Ukraine.

Three sets of three-day Yomim Tovim can seem overwhelming – especially when we are trying to stay healthy.

Plotkin-092614

Is a missed opportunity to do a mitzvah considered a sin?

Teens-Twenties-logo

The sounds and scents of the kitchen are cozy, familiar, but loud in the silence.

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

His entire life was dedicated to Torah and he became a pivotal figure in the transmittal of the Oral Torah to the next generation.

When you don’t have anyone else to turn to… that’s when you’re tied to Hashem the closest.

While we all go to restaurants for a good meal, it is dessert, that final taste that lingers in your mouth, that is the crown jewel of any dining experience and Six Thirteen’s offerings did not disappoint.

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

More Articles from Dr. Yitzchok Levine

In 1787 Jonas wrote a letter to Congress asking that the federal Constitution guarantee religious liberty in the state of Pennsylvania.

Jonas Phillips

Like many of his contemporaries, he went through some hard years, but eventually he earned the rewards of his perseverance and integrity.

These letters give us the privilege of knowing him in his old age when he is mellow, tempered in his judgments, and sagacious from long experience of dealing with people.

The British evacuated New York on November 25, 1783, and Congress demobilized the American army shortly thereafter.

“Simple, modest, altogether unassuming, Gershom spent his happiest hours with his ever-growing family who were never far from his thoughts.

“Attuned to the ideal of establishing a new Zion in free America, they named their new colony Palestine.

Last month’s column outlined some efforts during the first half of the nineteenth century to establish Jewish agricultural colonies in America. In only one case was a colony actually established.

There were very few Jewish farmers in Europe during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Indeed, in many parts of Europe Jews were forbidden to own land. Despite this there were some Jews who always felt they should return to the agrarian way of life their forefathers had pursued in ancient times, and that America was an ideal place to establish Jewish agricultural colonies.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/glimpses-ajh/adolphus-s-solomons-forgotten-19th-century-communal-activist/2013/10/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: