Since the quartermaster department of the Revolutionary armed forces was primitive and inadequate, the government turned to civilian purveyors for badly needed supplies. Many, if not most, Jewish merchants of that day were purveyors on a large or small scale, offering the government clothing, gunpowder, and lead. Harassed for lack of funds, the authorities took their time before settling accounts; some trusting suppliers were never paid at all. One of the merchants who were never reimbursed for their advances was Levy Solomons, of Canada. Solomons served the American troops in Canada in 1775 and 1776, helping them establish hospitals and lending them money. When the Americans were forced to retreat, this zealous patriot provided the sick and the wounded with transportation on their way to the border. The British, purportedly as a punishment for sedition but likely just because of antisemitism, seized business on July 4, 1776 and threw his goods and furniture into the street from where it was promptly looted by is Montreal Gentile neighbors.
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