David Salisbury Franks!

David Salisbury Franks
Not numbered. Philadelphia County Visited: December 21, 2017 Plaque?  YES! 🙂
What is it? A blue and yellow plaque by the US Mint building in Philadelphia!
What makes it historical? THE PLAQUE SAYS: Distinguished Jewish officer and aide-de-camp to Gen. Benedict Arnold during the Revolutionary War. Thought to be complicit in Arnold’s treason, Maj. Franks was later exonerated. A yellow fever victim, he was buried at Christ Church by a Christian neighbor.

OTHER TIDBITS: When the American Revolution began, Mr. Franks was the head of the Spanish and Portugese synagogue in Montreal. Like many Québécois, he had to choose a side in the conflict, and he chose the American one! Mr. Franks headed south with the Continental Army after their defeat in the Battle of Quebec and became the aide-de-camp of Benedict Arnold, who had been wounded in the battle!

Mr. Franks and his fellow aide, Richard Varricks, were brought to trial after Mr. Arnold was convicted of treason and made to interrogate each other, which let to their exoneration. Mr. Franks was later a carrier of secret documents for Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, but his tendency to lose control of himself around attractive women made it so he couldn’t quite reach the career heights he envisioned.

It may seem odd that Mr. Franks was buried in a Christian graveyard, but it was better than joining the many other yellow fever victims who were dumped in a mass grave.

How can I Help the Helpers? HERE’S HOW:

  • Go to work for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission!
  • Buy something from shopPAheritage!
  • Be a responsible visitor! Please respect the signs and pathways, and treat all structures and artifacts with respect. They’ve endured a lot to survive into the present. They’ll need our help to make it into the future!
How do I find it? Listed Directions:
SE corner of 5th & Arch Sts.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Yup! That’s correct!

From Harrisburg: ~108mi (174km) — 1.8hrs
From Philadelphia: ~1mi (2km) — 0.1hrs
From Pittsburgh: ~305mi (491km) — 5.1hrs
From Scranton: ~126mi (203km) — 2.1hrs

When should I go? Whenever the mood strikes you!

Click here to see more Pennsylvania historical landmarks!

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