Thanks to your overwhelming response to our Gershom Seixas' 1789 Thanksgiving Day Speech reprint offer (see Nr. 4 below), we have published a very short but interesting related list:
Catalog 158: Four Important Booklets on American Jewish History from Jewish Historical Societies.
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• American Jewish Historical Society. HAYM SALOMON, A GENTLEMAN OF PRECISION AND INTEGRITY. Waltham, Mass; American Jewish Historical Society, 1976. Original paper wrappers. 4to. 16 pages. 28 cm. “A Bicentennial publication on the life, times and personal papers of the celebrated American Jewish patriot whose efforts helped finance Washington’s army and secure American Independence.” Staple bound in fine paper wraps with raised signature title, fine tissue endpapers, background illustrations throughout, all text in red and brown ink, thirty four illustrations, and biographical chronology at end. Text details the life of Haym Salomon (Solomon) (1740–1785), an “early American merchant and Revolutionary War patriot. Salomon, who was born in Lissa, Poland, arrived in New York about 1775 after wandering in Europe and became one of the most prominent 18th-century American Jews. During the Revolutionary War he was a distiller and sutler to the American army, and was captured as a spy by the British. His life was spared, and he served as an interpreter in their commissary department. Continuing to give information to the Americans, he assisted their prisoners to escape British captivity while operating a profitable victualing business in New York City under British occupation. Married to Rachel Franks in 1777, he had to flee a year later to Philadelphia, where he began a brokerage and commission business. In 1781 he became an assistant to Robert Morris, superintendent of the Office of Finance, after serving in a similar capacity as broker and treasurer for the huge expenses of the French army stationed in America. Morris characterized him as ‘useful to the public interest.’ Salomon also lent money without charge to impecunious members of the Continental Congress, among them James Madison, who recommended him as ‘our little friend in Front Street.’ In 1784 Salomon expanded his business activities to New York, opening a brokerage and auctioneering house there with Jacob Mordecai. A mason, Salomon was a major contributor in 1782 to the Congregation Mikveh Israel building, Philadelphia. He argued against a New Testament oath taken by officeholders in Pennsylvania and worked for political rights of Jews. Though a successful merchant, Salomon invested most of his money in Continental stocks and bonds, and his accounts showed a deficit at the time of his death. The newspaper obituary referred to him as ‘an eminent broker of this city… remarkable for his skill and integrity in his profession, and for his generous and human deportment. ’ He left four children and a widow, who later married David Hilborn. By 1799 she was living in the Batavian Republic. … Exaggerated claims were made for Salomon's services to the American Revolution, largely as a point of Jewish apologetics. Without question, however, he was a vigorous patriot at great personal risk, and a competent financial servant of American independence and of some of its leaders.” (EJ 2007) Subjects: Jews - United States - Biography. Salomon, Haym, 1740-1785. United States - History - Revolution, 1775-1783 - Biography. Fine condition. (AMR-43-4) (ID #30742) $30.00.
• Angoff, Charles. EMMA LAZARUS, POET, JEWISH ACTIVIST, PIONEER ZIONIST. New York; Jewish Historical Society of New York, 1979. Original paper wrappers. 8vo. 12 pages. 23 cm. Printed in brown ink on cream paper, with illustrated wraps. Contains the lecture delivered by Charles Angoff to commemorate the poem “The New Colossus” at the base of the Statue of Liberty in 1978, which affords extensive documentation of the literary biography and political activism of Emma Lazarus, one of the first renowned Jewish writers in American literary history. Includes facsimile copy of the manuscript of “New Colossus” as well portrait of Emma Lazarus; with frontispiece dedication to Charles Angoff and his portrait as well, who “did not live to see this publication in print.” Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) , was a “U. S. Poet, essayist, and activist. Lazarus was born in New York on July 22, 1849, to Moses Lazarus, a wealthy industrialist of Sephardi heritage, and his wife Esther Nathan Lazarus of Ashkenazi background. Both sides of her family had been in America since the Revolution. Lazarus, who was educated at home by private tutors, was originally attracted to classical and romantic art and literature. During the course of her career, she struck up tutelary relationships with important male writers, especially Ralph Waldo Emerson, and including Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Henry James. Her early works included Poems and Translations: Written Between the Ages of Fourteen and Sixteen, published privately by her father in 1867, a novel Alide: An Episode of Goethe's Life (1874) , and a historical tragedy, The Spagnoletto (1876), as well as a translation of poems by Heinrich Heine, accompanied by a biographical study. By the time she wrote her best-known poem, ‘The New Colossus’ (1883), a hymn to America, the ‘Mother of Exiles,’ she had repudiated the glorification of male conquering power, aestheticism, and empty ceremony and asserted instead the power of womanhood, the comfort of motherhood, and the Hebraic prophetic values of compassion and consolation. Lazarus began her return to Jewish tradition in the late 1870s, studying Hebrew and reading Graetz's History of the Jews and George Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda, with its plea for a Jewish national revival. Lazarus began to publish translations of the medieval Spanish-Jewish poets, Judah Halevi, Solomon ibn Gabirol, and others. The Russian pogroms of 1881 and the May Laws of 1882 fired both her social consciousness and her poetic imagination, prompting a series of essays in American journals, especially in Century Magazine (May 1882), where she replied to an antisemitic article by a Russian journalist, Madame Z. Ragozin. ‘The Dance Unto Death,’ a verse tragedy about the burning of the Jews of Nordhausen during the Black Death appeared in Songs of a Semite (1882), dedicated to George Eliot, ‘the illustrious writer who did most among the artists of our day towards elevating and ennobling the spirit of Jewish Nationality.’ Lazarus's series of 14 essays, ironically entitled ‘Epistle to the Hebrews, ’ written from November 1882 to February 1883, were intended to ‘bring before the Jewish public… facts and critical observations… to arouse a more logical and intelligent estimate of the duties of the hour.' Lazarus also involved herself in the practical work of helping new immigrants adjust to America, founding the Hebrew Technical Institute for Vocational Training. In 1883 she sailed to London, armed with letters of introduction from Henry James to well-placed people in England, Jews and non-Jews, who might help her in her effort towards the establishment of a Jewish national home-land. A decade before Theodore Herzl launched the Zionist movement, Lazarus argued in poetry and prose for Palestine as a safe haven for oppressed Jews everywhere. Lazarus, who never married, died of cancer at the age of 38. After her death, her sister, Josephine Lazarus, prohibited the inclusion of ‘anything Jewish’ in the collected edition of her works that appeared in 1889. ‘The New Colossus,’ with its famous image of ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free,' [which] was engraved on a memorial plaque and affixed to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903” (EJ 2007). Publications of the Jewish Historical Society of New York; number 3. Subjects: Poets, American - 19th century - Biography. Women social reformers - New York (State) - New York - Biography. Social reformers - United States - Biography. Zionists - New York (State) - New York - Biography. Jews - New York (State) - New York - Biography. Lazarus, Emma, 1849-1887. New York (N. Y. ) - Biography. Fine condition. (AMR-43-3) (ID #30741) $30.00.
• Stern, Malcolm H.; Marc Angel. NEW YORK'S EARLY JEWS: SOME MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS. A LECTURE BY MALCOLM H. STERN, WITH RESPONSE BY MARC D. ANGEL. New York; Jewish Historical Society of New York, 1976. Original paper wrappers. 8vo. 28 pages. 22 cm. "Delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Jewish Historical Society of New York held at Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish & Portugese Synagogue on April 10, 1975." An insightful lecture correcting common misconceptions about early American Jewish History as demonstrated in historical errata discovered throughout years of research, i. e. : the mention of Solomon Stern, an Amsterdam Jew stranded in Boston in 1649, the Jews from Brazil who landed in 1654 being met by a Jacob Barsimson, the boat being in actuality named the Ste Catherine and not the St. Charles, the sprinkling of Ashkenazim among the first Sephardim in America, Marranos in Savannah, Georgia, etc.; the response of Marc Angel attempts to highlight what Stern’s research indicates, the questions it opens, as well as highlighting recent research on the interrelations of Ashkenazim and Sephardim in America and Europe, such as Spanish inscriptions on Ashkenazic tombs. Malcolm H. Stern (1915–1984) was a "U. S. Reform rabbi, historian, [&] genealogist. Stern, who has been called ‘the father of Jewish genealogy in America,’ was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1981, Stern joined the faculty of the New York campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, initially as counselor for student field work and subsequently as adjunct professor of American Jewish History. There he continued his research, begun in 1950, as genealogist for the American Jewish Archives and the American Historical Society. Stern compiled the pioneering volume American Families of Jewish Descent (1960) , an eight-pound tome containing 26,000 names researched over the course of 10 years of labor. It was the first genealogical survey of Jewish families who settled in the United States between 1654 and 1840, and was lauded as an invaluable research tool in the fields of American and Jewish history. Many American Protestants and Catholics first learned of Jewish roots and branches in their family trees from Stern's data, which served as an important source for Stephen Birmingham's best-selling novel, The Grandees." (Gordon in EJ 2007) . Publications of the Jewish Historical Society of New York; number 1. Subjects: Jews - New York (State) - New York. OCLC lists 14 copies worldwide. Light shelf wear. Great condition. (AMR-43-2) (ID #30740) $30.00.
• Seixas, Gershom Mendes. A RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE: THANKSGIVING DAY SERMON, NOVEMBER 26, 1789. New York; Jewish Historical Society of New York, 1977.  Original illustrated paper wrappers. 8vo. xvi, 16 pages. 23 cm. Introduction by Isidore S. Meyer, followed by a photostatic reproduction of the 1789 edition of the sermon given by Gershom Mendes Seixas, original title: “A religious discourse delivered in the synagogue in this city, on Thursday the 26th November, 1789. Agreeable to the proclamation of the president of the United States of America, to be observed as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. ” “Printed by Archibald M'Lean, at Franklin's Head no. 41, Hanover-Square.” Introduction outlines contemporaneous historical background, with reference and bibliographic notes. Sermon delivered by “Gershom Mendez Seixas. American rabbi and patriot; born in New York city Jan. 14, 1745; died there July 2, 1816; son of Isaac Mendez Seixas (1708-80) and Rachel Levy, daughter of Moses Levy, an early New York merchant. Seixas became the minister of Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese congregation of his native city, in 1766, and occupied the rabbinate for about half a century. At the outbreak of the American Revolution he at once espoused the Patriot cause, though many of the Christian ministers of the city sympathized with the Tories. … After the war Seixas returned to New York (March 23, 1784) and resumed his former position as rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel. He was one of the first ministers to preach a regular Thanks-giving Day sermon (see ‘Daily Gazette, ’ Dec. 23, 1789) , and was also one of the fourteen clergymen participating in the ceremony of the inauguration of George Washington as first president of the United States. In 1787 he became a trustee of Columbia College in the city of New York, and held that office continuously to 1815, being the only Jew ever so honored. When the college was incorporated, Seixas' name appeared in the charter as one of the incorporators. ” (1906 Jewish Encyclopedia) . Publications of the Jewish Historical Society of New York; number 2. Subjects: American Jewish Historical Society, New York. Congregation Shearith Israel, New York. Jewish sermons, American. Thanksgiving Day addresses. Fine condition. A very important document, and increasingly difficult to fine. (AMR-43-1) (ID #30739) $50.00.