SOLOMONS, ADOLPHUS SIMEON:
American communal worker; born in New York city Oct. 26, 1826; son of John Solomons, a native of London who emigrated to the United States in 1810, and of Julia, daughter of Simeon Levy.
Solomons was educated in the University of the City of New York, and entered the employ of a firm of wholesale importers of stationery and fancy goods, becoming within two years its head book-keeper and confidential man. At the age of fourteen he had enlisted as a color-guide in the Third Regiment Washington Greys (New York State National Guard); he was promoted sergeant five years later, and received a certificate of discharge on May 11, 1847. In 1851 Daniel Webster, then secretary of state, appointed him "Special Bearer of Despatches to Berlin." On his journey he visited for the first time a Jewish ward in a hospital, at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and determined to establish a similar institution in New York. Upon his return home he became a member of a committee of young men who arranged a ball for charity in Niblo's Garden. The sum of $1,034 realized therefrom was, upon Solomons' motion, placed in the hands of Simpson Simson of Yonkers, who, with others, had recently taken out a charter for a Jewish hospital in New York, the present Mt. Sinai Hospital.
In 1859 Solomons established the publishing-house of Philp & Solomons in Washington, D. C., which held for a number of years the government contracts for printing. Solomons was in 1871 elected a member of the House of Representatives for the District of Columbia, serving as chairman of the committee on ways and means.
As a representative of the central committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, Solomons at a public meeting held in New York advocated the establishment of the Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids to mark the one-hundredth anniversary of Sir Moses Montefiore's birth. As trustee and, subsequently, as acting president of the Jewish Theological Seminary Association of New York, he was influential in bringing about a successful reorganization of the society's finances. In 1891 he became general agent of the Baron de Hirsch Fund and director of its many activities in America; and in 1903, when relieved of active work, he was made honorary general agent.
Solomons was an incorporator and for seventeen years an active member of the National Association of the Red Cross, and was also one of its two vice-presidents. President Arthur appointed him and Clara Barton as representatives of the United States government in the International Congress of the Red Cross, held at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1881; and Solomons was elected vice-president of that congress. He was one of the five original members of the New York executive board of the Red Cross Relief Committee, which board was in session during the Spanish-American war and consisted of twenty-five members presided over by Bishop Potter.
Solomons has been a member of the central committee of the Alliance Israélite Universelle, and its treasurer for the United States. He has been for twenty years a director, and for some time treasurer, of the Columbia Hospital and Lying-in Asylum in Washington, D. C.; he is also a charter member of the Garfield Memorial Hospital, acting president of the Provident Aid Society and Associated Charities, founder and president of the Night Lodging-House Association, and trustee of the first training-school for nurses in the District of Columbia; he has been identified also with nearly all the prominent charities in the United States capital.
Solomons has taken active part in all inauguration ceremonies from Lincoln's time to McKinley's.