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Franks, David Salisbury


FRANKS, DAVID SALISBURY (c. 1743–1793), U.S. merchant, a Revolutionary War officer, and patriot. Franks was born in Philadelphia. Three years after his registration in 1760 at the Philadelphia Academy (University of Pennsylvania), he went to Montreal as a merchant. He returned in 1776 after aiding the invading army of generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold in their unsuccessful attack on Quebec. He became an aide to Arnold, serving in the Pennsylvania line as a major. Exonerated of complicity in the Arnold treason in 1780, Franks was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1781 he was sent to bring government dispatches and advice to John Jay in Madrid and to Benjamin Franklin in Paris. He served as courier, consular official, and confidant to Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and John Adams at various times in Europe until 1787. In 1790 he was appointed assistant cashier to the Bank of the United States. Franks had served as parnas of the Congregation Shearith Israel in Montreal in 1775 and was a contributor to Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia.


Rosenbloom, Biog Dict, 39.

[Leo Hershkowitz]

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