cannon on an open field with wooden tower to side
Patriot forces used artillery and a rifle tower in their 1781 siege of the Star Fort at Ninety Six.

Carolina Personalities: Francis Salvador

Today we’re taking a look at Francis Salvador who immigrated to South Carolina’s 96 District in 1773. Upon arrival he quickly took up the Patriot cause, and in 1774 was elected to South Carolina’s Provincial Congress. None of this would be particularly noteworthy if not for the fact that Salvador was Jewish.

Francis Salvador is considered the first Jew to hold elective office in America.

Born and raised in London, Salvador part of the Sephardic or Hispanic Jewish community. He was raised and educated in wealth. He had a wife and 4 children who all stayed behind when he immigrated. The plan was to send for them once he was settled.

During his time in the Provincial Congress he became a champion of independence, urging South Carolina’s delegation to the Continental Congress to vote for independence.

When war came, he took up arms to fight for independence. In late July 1776, he was serving beside Major Andrew Williamson when they were ambushed by a combined Tory and Cherokee force. Salvador died in that encounter and became the first Jewish soldier to die for the Patriot cause in the American Revolution.