The New-York Weekly Journal, 25 March, 1734: The issue contains one of the earliest newspaper references to Jews in American history. “All Persons that have any Demands on the Estate of Benjamin Elias are described to bring their Accounts to Abraham Isaacs in Order to be satisfied. And those that are indebted to the said Estate are desired to send in their Accounts to prevent further Trouble” (page 4, column 2). — The New-York Weekly Journal, 20 May 1734: Printed by the celebrated Peter Zenger, contains on page 4, column 2, what is probably the first newspaper reference to a synagogue in North America. — The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1 November 1753: In this issue, Benjamin Franklin prominently prints on the first page a description of the English “Jew Bill of 1753,” whose purpose was to allow for Jewish naturalization. — The Newport Mercury, 29 December 1766–5 January 1767: The entire center column of the first page is devoted to a detailed description of the London Great Synagogue in Duke’s Place, 29 August 1766. — The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, 17 December 1784: Advertisements from three Jewish brokers, the most prominent being Haym Salomon (b. Poland, 1740; d. Philadelphia, 1785), appear on this issue’s back page.
The New-Haven Gazette, and the Connecticut Magazine, 20 July 1787: This issue contains an advertisement, headlined “Hebrew Books,” that may well be the first such advertisement in American newspaper history exclusively containing Hebrew books for sale. — The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser, 9 July 1788: The description of Philadelphia’s Grand Federal Procession marking the adoption of Constitution, page 3, column 4, includes the important line, “The clergy of the different Christian denominations, with the rabbi of the Jews, walking arm in arm.” — The Independent Gazetteer; or, The Chronicle of Freedom, 20 September, 1788: In a front page Advertisement. Isaac Franks (b. New York City, 1759; d. Philadelphia, 1822), the broker, announces that he is moving his office from the south side of Market Street to the north side. — The Independent Gazetteer; or, The Chronicle of Freedom , 25 August 1789: Report of the death of Hayman Levy (b. Germany, 1721; d. New York, 1789), “merchant of New York and one of the Hebrew religion; a gentlemen much respected by all denominations who had the pleasure of his acquaintance . . . his character as a merchant was without a blemish; he was a true patriot and friend of the United States.” — Massachusetts Spy: or, The Worcester Gazette, 6 May 1790: Benjamin Franklin’s funeral ceremonies reported here (page 3, columns 3-4) include the notice, “All the clergy of the city, including the Ministers of the Hebrew congregation, before the corpse.”
Massachusetts Spy: or, The Worcester Gazette, 1 July 1790: George Washington correspondence with the Hebrew Congregation of Savannah, Georgia—the first Jewish community to address the first President—is printed on page 4, column 1, of this issue. — Gazette of the United States, 15 September 1790: This exchange of messages published here between President George Washington and Moses Seixas (1744-1809), Warden of the Newport Hebrew Congregation, is considered the most valuable newspaper item of Americana Judaica, as well as a bedrock expression of national religious liberty. — Gazette of the United States, 18 December 1790: The first Jewish community to address the newly elected George Washington was the Hebrew Congregation of Savannah, Georgia on May 6, 1789. After seven months of planning, Manuel Josephson, president of Philadelphia’s Mikveh Israel, on December 13, 1790, wrote (page 1, column 3) Washington on behalf of the Hebrew Congregations of Philadelphia, New York, Charleston and Richmond.
New York Evening Post, 18 January 1813: The first Hebrew Bible published in the United States was the edition by Evarado van der Hooght (1815). In this Advertisement (page 3, column 1), J. Horwitz, the distributor of this yet to be published edition, notifies the public that a rival edition is to be published by Messrs. Whiting and Watson has no connection with his edition. — The National Advocate, 25 March 1824: The importance of this issue is that it was most likely the first time in the history of American journalism that a general circulation newspaper carried Hebrew type in its pages. The New York Herald, 5 January 1863: Publishes General Ulysses S. Grant’s notorious Order No. 11, which expelled all Jews from the administrative area of Tennessee which included the states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi. — The New York Herald, 20 April 1865: Most of this black bordered issues deals with the outpouring of grief in response to the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln; a separate section on page two (columns 4-6) describes the services which took place at seven New York City synagogues. The synagogues are listed individually, with the names of rabbis below. A complete inventory of the collection is available on request.
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