1st Edition

Jews in the Americas, 1776-1826

    The period between 1776-1826 signalled a major change in how Jewish identity was understood both by Jews and non-Jews throughout the Americas. Jews in the Americas, 1776-1826 brings this world of change to life by uniting important out-of-print primary sources on early American Jewish life with rare archival materials that can currently be found only in special collections in Europe, England, the United States, and the Caribbean.

    Chapter 1: Family Life

    Figure 2: Anonymous, Portrait Sarah Brandon Moses (ca. 1817)

    Letter, Samson Levy to Moses Levy (Philadelphia to New Jersey, 16 July 1776)

    Letter, Samson Myers to Aaron Lopez (Wilton to Leicester, 30 July 1779)

    Letter, Moses Seixas to Aaron Lopez (Newport to Leicester, 2 February 1780)

    Letter, Frances Sheftall to Mordecai Sheftall (Charleston to Philadelphia, 3 March 1780)

    Letter, Frances Sheftall to Mordecai Sheftall (Charleston to Philadelphia, 20 July 1780)

    Letter, Benjamin Seixas to Aaron Lopez (Philadelphia to Leicester, 28 March 1781)

    Letter, Joseph Lopez to Aaron Lopez (Leicester, 7 December 1781)

    Letter, John Wereat to Mordecai Sheftall on Clothe for Ethiopians (Slaves) and Potential Sheftall Visit (Mt. Hope to Savannah, 2 December 1788)

    Levi Sheftall, Excerpts from the Sheftall Family Diary (Savannah, Georgia, 1776-1811)

    Moses Seixas, Inventory of the House of Myer Polock (Newport, 1779)

    Moses Seixas, Inventory of the House of Hiam Levy (Newport, 1779)

    Estate Inventory of David Cohen Nassy (Suriname, 1782)

    Seixas Family Register (New York, 1790-1816)

    Jacob and Hannah Rodriguez Rivera House, "The Lantern," Land Evidence Record (Newport, 1780-1810)

    Letter, Isaac Moses to his son Solomon upon the latter’s voyage to Calcutta (New York, 1798)

    Excerpts, Account Book of Moses Lopez (Barbados, 1779-1789)

    Letter, Rebecca Gratz to Maria Fenno Hoffman (Philadelphia, 5 February 1806)

    Letter, Slowly Hays to Rebecca Gratz (Philadelphia, 30 August 1807)

    Letter, Rebecca Gratz to Benjamin Gratz (Philadelphia, Late 1814)

    Letter, Rachel and Ellen Mordecai (North Carolina, 1811)

    Letter, Judith (Hays) Myers to Judah Hays (Richmond to Boston, 13 September 1813)

    Letter, Rachel Mordecai to Maria Edgeworth (North Carolina to Edgeworthstown, Ireland, 1815)

    Letter, Rebecca Gratz to Benjamin Gratz (Philadelphia to Lexington, 7 May 1819)

    Letter, Rebecca Gratz to Maria Fenno Hoffman (Philadelphia, 10 April 1823)

    Letter, Joseph Lopez to Stephen Gould (New York to Newport, 21 March 1822)

    Letter, Moses Lopez to Stephen Gould (Greenwich to Newport, 12 December 1822)

    Letter, Sarah Lopez to Priscilla Lopez (New York to Charleston, ca. 1822-1830)

    Genealogy of Isaac Gomez, Jr. (New York, 1826)

    Letter, Samuel Hays Myers to Judah Hays (Richmond to Boston, 11 August 1826)


    Chapter 2: Life Cycles

    Figure 3: Nidhe Israel Ritual Bath (Barbados)

    Abraham I. Abrahams, Registry of Cases of Circumcision (New York, 1756-1787)

    Ketubah, Haym Salomon and Rachel Franks (New York, 1777)

    Will, Rabbi Raphael Hayyim Isaac Carigal (Barbados, 27 May 1777)

    Will, Emanuel Perira (New York, 3 September 1777)

    Will, Mordecai Sheftall (Georgia, 25 April 1778)

    Death Announcement, Aaron Lopez (30 May 1782)

    Epitaph, Aaron Lopez (Newport, 27 May 1782)

    Epitaph, Shabbetai D' Aguilar (Suriname, 7 November 1783)

    Epitaph, Rachel, wife of Abraham Vries (Suriname, 13 February 1783)

    Manuel Josephson, Petition to board of Mikveh Israel to build a mikveh (Philadelphia, 21 May 1784)

    Memorial and Epitaph, Revd. Isaac Touro and Mrs. Reyna Touro (Newport, 8 January 1784 & 28 September 1787)

    Will, Sarah Belinfante (Barbados, 4 November 1785)

    Controversy about Uncovered Heads for Married Women (Suriname, 1786)

    Epitaph, Rachel Lopez (Barbados, 18 August 1787)

    Will, David De Leon (Saint Eustatius, 23 October 1789)

    Will, Sarah Lopez (Barbados, 3 June 1789)

    Epitaph, Phillis Rivera, servant of Jacob Rodriguez Rivera (Newport, 11 February 1791)

    Epitaph, Rachel Hermosa (Suriname, 16 November 1793)

    Moses Lopez, "Excerpts from B’rakhot ha-Mila," (Barbados, 1794)

    Epitaph, Ribi David de Leon (Suriname, 29 December 1793)

    Figure 4: Detail, Gravestone of Ribi David de Leon (Suriname, 1793)

    Excerpt from Diary, Mrs. Smith (Savannah, 4 February - 10 June 1793)

    Excerpt from Will, Abigail Minis (Savannah, 6 December 1794)

    Marriage Contract, Judith Hays and Samuel Myers (Boston, 20 September 1796)

    Will, Finella Abarbanell (Barbados, 30 June 1796)

    Epitaph, Hakham Joshua Hezekiah de Cordova (Jamaica, 2 October 1797)

    Epitaph, Samuel Robles de Medina (Jodensavanne, Suriname, 1 February 1797)

    Epitaph, Walter J. Judah (New York, 15 September 1798)

    Governor Bonham, ‘Edict abolishing of the demotion of Portuguese Congregants upon marrying an Ashkenazi’ (Suriname, 26 May 1814)

    Will, Isaac Lopez (Barbados, 8 February 1804)

    Epitaph, Moses Michael Hays (Newport, 9 May 1805)

    Epitaph, David Lopez (Charleston, 15 January 1811)

    Epitaph, Eliza Cohen (Charleston, 7 October 1811)

    Conversion and Circumcision, Isaac Lopez Brandon (Suriname, 24 December 1812)

    Will, John Charles Lucena (England, 23 June 1813)

    Epitaph, Frederick Baruh Lousada (Barbados, 21 April 1816)

    Marriage Register, Sarah Rodriguez Brandon and Joshua Moses (London, 17 March 1817)

    Epitaph, Nathan, son of Hayim Pakker of Amsterdam (Suriname, 17 November 1815)

    Certificate of Conversion, Jacob Bar Abraham Abinu (Philadelphia, 22 November 1819)

    Epitaph, Abigail Seixas (Charleston, April 1819)

    Summary of Isaac Harby’s Academy Cashbook (Charleston, 1819-1820)

    Isaac Gomez, Jr., Excerpts from Selections of a Father for the Use of his Children (New York, 1820)

    Jacob de la Motta, Challenge to a Duel (Georgia, 1821)

    Ketubah, Aaron Lopez Gomez and Hetty Hendricks (New York, 20 May 1821)

    Figure 5: Ketubah of Aaron Lopez Gomez and Hetty Hendricks (New York, 1821)

    Excerpt from Diary, Aaron Levy (New York, 1822)


    Chapter 3: Synagogue

    Figure 6: Courtyard of Mikveh Israel Synagogue (Curaçao)

    Excerpts, Hascamoth of Congregation Mikve Israel (Curaçao, 1776-1810)

    Minutes, Proposals and By-Laws of Shearith Israel Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of (Montreal, 1775-1789)

    Excerpts, Revised Hascamoth of the Portuguese Jewish Community including Difference between Yehidim and Congreganten (Suriname, 1787)

    Misheberakh prayer mentioning Aaron Lopez, Jacob Rodriguez Rivera, Daniel Gomez, Congregation Shearith Israel of NY, Shaar Hashamayim of Jamaica and Neve Shalom of Surinam (Curaçao, ca. 1770s)

    Memorial Curiel (Curaçao, 1790-1816)

    Letter, Manuel Josephson to Moses Seixas (Philadelphia to Newport, 4 February 1790)

    Letter, Barnard Gratz and Manuel Josephson to the Jews of Surinam (Philadelphia to Suriname, 1790)

    Constitution, Bylaws and Charter from the Jewish Congregation of New York (New York, 6 June 1790)

    Code of Laws of the Congregation Mickva Israel (Savannah, 25 July 1790)

    Excerpts, Minute Books of the Mahamad of Nidhe Israel (Barbados, 1790-1826)

    St. Thomas Synagogue Protocols (St. Thomas, 1796 and 1803)

    Moses Lopez, Excerpts from the American Jewish Calendar (Newport, 1806)

    Minutes, Proposals and By-Laws of Shearith Israel Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of Montreal (Montreal, 1816-1826)

    Congregation Shearith Israel, Report of the Proceedings in the Case of Mrs. Anne Seixas (New York, 12 August 1823)

    Abraham Moïse, Petition by Congregants of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim to the Adjunta to Change the Sephardic Orthodox Liturgy (Charleston, 1824)


    Chapter 4: Politics, Slavery, and Trade

    Figure 7: Detail of Ship on Gravestone of Isaac Hisquiau Sasso (Curaçao, 1784)

    Moses Michael Hays, Newspaper Notices (New York, Newport, Boston, 1776-1789)

    Letters, Moses Michael Hays (Newport, Boston, 1776-1789)

    Letter, Unnamed officer in Kingston to Mrs. Manby (Jamaica, 6 August 1776)

    Samson and Moses Levy Renounce Allegiance to King George III (1778)

    Taxes, Mr. Aaron Lopez (Newport, 1779)

    Abigail Minis, Petition for certificates in order to receive payment for provisions to the Allied Army (Georgia, 1780)

    Capture of Mordecai Sheftall, Deputy Commissary-General of Issues to the continental Troops for the State of Georgia" (Georgia, 1781)

    Letter, Samuel Myers to Aaron Lopez (Philadelphia to Leicester, 10 June 1781)

    Extract, Letter from St. Eustatius (St. Eustatius, 29 March 1781)

    Petition, Jews of St. Eustatius to the Commanders in Chief of the his Britannic Majesty’s Navy and Army in the West Indies (St. Eustatius, 16 February 1781)

    Pennsylvania Grand Lodge Freemasons, Excerpts from Ahiman rezon abridged and digested (Philadelphia, 1783)

    Names and Addresses of Jewish Residents from MacPherson's Directory for the City and Suburbs of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, 1785)

    Jews Living in St. Eustatius (St. Eustatius, 13 January 1790)

    Address, Moses Seixas, Warden of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island to George Washington (Newport, 17 August 1790)

    Address, George Washington to Moses Seixas, Warden of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island," (Newport, 21 August 1790)

    Petition, Sheftall Family Petitions the Georgia Assembly and the United States Congress Regarding Mordecai Sheftall’s Service as Chief Commissary Officer for the Georgia Militia (Savannah, 12 January 1792 and 15 March 1802)

    Manumission, Veronique by Alexandre Lindo (Jamaica, 24 October 1791)

    Manumission, Charlotte by Alexandre Lindo (Jamaica, 26 August 1791)

    Reward for the Runaway Slaves Anthony, Pender, Ber, and Abraham (New York, 28 May 1793)

    A. Seixas, Advertisement for Sale of Slaves and Request for Slave Who Can Work as a Blacksmith (Charleston, 16 October 1793)

    A. Seixas, Advertisement for Captured ‘Negro’, Betty (Charleston, 26 November 1793)

    Petition, Levy Solomons and Response of John Elmsley, Chief Justice of Upper Canada (Canada, 23 October 1797 and 30 October 1797)

    Petition, Moses David and Land Board Decision (Canada, 1799-1801)

    Manumission, Isaac Lopez Brandon (Barbados, 5 August 1801)

    D. Lopez, Advertisement for sale of ‘Four Valuable Slaves (Charleston, 5 August 1803)

    Excerpt, An Act to Prohibit the Importation of Slaves into any Port or Place within the Jurisdiction of the United States (Washington D.C., 1 January 1808)

    Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade (London, 1807)

    Request to the King from the Jews of Suriname Regarding Jewish Privileges in the Colony (Suriname, 25 August 1816)

    Maryland’s "Jew Bill" (Baltimore, 1819-1826)

    Speeches, Newspaper Articles and Internal Synagogue Correspondence Regarding the "Vestry Bill" (Barbados, 1819-1820)

    Figure 8: Mordecai M. Noah, of No. 57, Franklin-Street, being duly sworn (New York, 1828)


    Chapter 5: Literary Works and Religious Discourses

    Figure 9: Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage à Surinam, fig. 32 (Bruxelles, 1839)

    Excerpts, Books Owned by David Cohen Nassy (Suriname, 1782)

    Advertisements for Benjamin Gomez, Bookseller and Stationer, No. 97 Maiden-Lane (New York, 1791-1806)

    Gershom Seixas, Excerpt from A Discourse Delivered (New York, 9 May 1798)

    Description of Sheva (the Jew) from Richard Cumberland’s The Jew, A Comedy (New York, 1795)

    Portrait of Adonah ben Benjamin, The Algerine Captive: or the Life and Adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill (1795)

    Description of Jews from John Gabriel Stedman’s Narrative, of a five years’ expedition against the revolted negroes of Surinam, in Guiana, on the wild coast of South America (London, 1795)

    Sampson Simson, "Address Delivered in Hebrew at the Columbia College Commencement," (New York, 6 August 1800)

    Moses Hart, Selections from Modern Religion (New York, 1816)

    Excerpts from Mordecai Manuel Noah, Travels in England, Spain, and the Barbary States (New York, 1819)

    Sections from Mordecai Manuel Noah, She Would Be a Soldier: or, The plains of Chippewa an historical drama in three acts (Philadelphia, 1819)

    Jacob de la Motta, Excerpt from Discourse Delivered (Savannah, 21 July 1820)

    Jacob Mordecai, Excerpt from Discourse Delivered (Richmond, 15 September 1822)

    Moseh de Daniel López Penha, Chronicle (1826)


    Michael Hoberman, Laura Leibman, Hilit Surowitz-Israel