|The Right Honourable
|21st Premier of South Australia|
1 December 1899 – 8 December 1899
|Governor||Sir Thomas Buxton|
|Preceded by||Charles Kingston|
|Succeeded by||Frederick Holder|
|Member of the Australian Parliament
for South Australia
30 March 1901 – 16 December 1903
Serving with Lee Batchelor, Langdon Bonython, Paddy Glynn, Frederick Holder, Charles Kingston, Alexander Poynton
|Preceded by||New seat|
|Succeeded by||Division abolished|
13 May 1853|
Adelaide, South Australia
|Died||20 October 1908(aged 55)|
Free Trade (1901–03)
Solomon was born in Adelaide, South Australia, the son of Judah Moss Solomon, a member of the South Australian Legislative Council and Lord Mayor of Adelaide from 1869 to 1870. After an education which began at J. L. Young's Adelaide Educational Institution before moving to Scotch College, Melbourne, the Jewish Solomon wished to marry Mary Wigzell, a gentile, but his father so opposed the marriage that Solomon left for the Northern Territory in 1873. There he became editor of the Northern Territory Times as well as holding successful mining and mercantile holdings. He mixed these interests in his 1894 book Guide to Western Australia and its goldfields. Additionally, on 6 December 1880, three months after his father's death, Solomon married Wigzell, now a widow with a young son. He became a prominent figure in the Northern Territory and gained the nickname "Black Solomon", derived from the time, on a dare, he painted himself black and walked naked through the streets of Palmerston (now known as Darwin).
Solomon was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly in April 1890 as an inaugural member for the Electoral district of Northern Territory (then part of South Australia) on the back of a campaign advocating a White Australia policy. He served as Government Whip before becoming Leader of the Opposition in 1899, when he had the Charles Kingston government dissolve over Kingston’s proposal to extend suffrage to all householders and their wives. Solomon then became Premier and Treasurer of South Australia for one week, 1 December to 8 December 1899, before further machinations led to new Opposition Leader Frederick Holder gaining the Premiership.
Solomon was a member of the Australian Federation Convention in 1897 and the Convention that framed the Australian Constitution in 1897-98, before his election to the inaugural Australian federal Parliament in 1901 as a Free Trade Member for South Australia. Solomon unsuccessfully stood for the Division of Boothby at the 1903 election before returning to the South Australian House of Assembly in 1905 as the Member for the Northern Territory. By the time of his death to cancer, Solomon was Deputy Leader of the Opposition.
Twice married, Solomon holds the dual distinctions of being South Australia’s sole Jewish and shortest serving Premier. The electorate of Solomon in the Northern Territory is named after him. His daughter Esther was the first woman elected to the Adelaide City Council and served two terms as Deputy Mayor.
- "Adelaide Educational Institution". South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 15 December 1862. p. 3. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "Biographies of the Members". South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 26 May 1893. p. 6. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
|Premier of South Australia
|Parliament of Australia|
|New district||Member for South Australia
Served alongside: Batchelor, Bonython, Glynn, Holder, Kingston, Poynton