Imagine this, a banking and financier heavily involved in American and international derivatives during wartime and who constantly deceives friends, bankers, and foreign governments, a man active in illegal international arms sales, is now considered an American patriot and Founding Father. It is both true and a joy to read about in Robert Morris: Financier of the American Revolution by Charles Rappleye.
He managed the financial and diplomatic affairs of America under the Articles of Confederation which happens to be the period of the Revolutionary War. Without him and his clever shuffling of the financial cards, General Washington would have had to flee to Spanish territory and later send for Martha. Samuel Adams would have fled to the Caribbean. It is impossible to know where James Madison would have gone.
In the nationalist and capable hands of Morris, derivatives kept the Continental Army in the field; and his insightful understanding of public credit and free capital markets set up America to become an international economic behemoth in the decades to follow. He jeopardized his personal finances to keep the army clothed, fed, and provisioned; and unfortunately with peace, he pushed into devastating western land speculation in an effort to recoup his financial clout. He failed and was put in debtor prison. He was eventually freed but what he deserved was a presidential pardon and pension.
If you are building a Founding Fathers library, this is a must buy. Charles Marlin