About Solomon Bush, Lieut.Col.
Lieutenant-Colonel Solomon Bush was the highest-ranking Jewish officer in the Continental Army, a distinguished public servant, and a leader of the Masons in Pennsylvania. Born Oct 13, 1753, he was the son of Mathias Bush and Tabitha Mears. He joined the Pennsylvania Militia in 1776 and by July of 1777, he was appointed Deputy Adjutant General of the Militia of the State of Pennsylvania. According to a letter of commendation passed by the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania in 1779,
. . . it appears that Major Bush has, on many occasions, distinguished himself in the public service, especially in the winter of 1776, when the service was critical and hazardous . . . in the month of September, 1777, acting as Deputy Adjutant General, he was dangerously wounded in a skirmish between the militia and the advance of the British Army, his thigh being broken and he brought off with great difficulty; that being carried to his father's house, on Chestnut Hill, and incapable of being moved, he fell into the hands of the British Army, when it moved up to Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania in December, 1777 and was imprisoned. Colonel Bush was ultimately released in exchange for British prisoners held by the Continental forces. Bush was an active Mason and went to London in November 1788 on business for the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge. From there he repeatedly petitioned Washington for a diplomatic post, but was unsuccessful, despite being highly recommended by others close to Washington. Although he apparently had no formal medical training, Bush had evidently picked up enough medical knowledge, perhaps during the time he spent in London, to be generally referred to as Dr. Bush. In 1791, he married Nancy Ann Marshall, most likely in Philadelphia. He died in 1795 and is buried in the Friends Burial Ground in Philadelphia. -------------------- An ardent patriot. "To revenge the rongs [sic] of my injured country," as he stated, he joined the Continental Army at the start of the American Revolution. In 1777 he was appointed a deputy adjutant general of the state militia, but was seriously wounded in the fall of that year and was compelled to retire from active service. When he left the army, he was a lieutenant colonel, the highest rank held by any Jew during the American Revolution.
After the war, Solomon Bush, a very devoted Mason, became a grand master for his state. Like many other veterans of the Revolutionary War, he wanted a government position rather than go into business. In 1780 he petitioned Congress to appoint him Secretary of the Treasury. Four years later he applied for the position of health officer for Pennsylvania, and in 1791 he applied to President Washington for the "naval office post" of Philadelphia. All these efforts were unsuccessful. However, Benjamin Franklin, while President of the Pennsylvania Council, granted him a pension, which is indicative of the importance of Bush's contributions to the war effort. In 1782 Bush contributed toward a new building for Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia. However, he also joined the Quaker Abolitionist (anti-slavery) Society and, at his own request, was buried in the Friends' Burial Ground in Philadelphia.