David Franks

Colonial Merchant

By (author) Mark Abbott Stern

Paperback - £23.95

Publication date:

15 June 2014

Length of book:

288 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271030982

David Franks, a colonial businessman in Philadelphia, was one of the most important figures in American Jewish history in the eighteenth century. This extensively researched biography illuminates not only Franks's personal dealings, but also his business life. Franks was involved with Indian trade, ship design and building, manufacturing, international trade, land speculation, westward exploration, and military provisioning. This volume follows Franks from his beginnings in a prominent Jewish family to his trials for treason and his exile in the postrevolutionary period, offering a unique portrait of a forgotten American.

“Mark Abbott Stern’s well-written and extremely well-researched biography of Philadelphia merchant David Franks (1720–1793) ranks among the best works on early American Jews. It is also the finest study I know that clarifies the complicated story of army contracting during the French and Indian War and the bureaucratic intricacies of caring for prisoners of war during the American Revolution.”

—William A. Pencak, The Pennsylvania State University