Newspaper articles on Jews in the Confederacy.

rosefiend

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Location
Confusion, Missouri
I saw these articles (already nicely transcribed) -- I thought there was a thread about Jewish folks in the Civil War but I can't seem to find the right one to attach this to, so here you go.

Here's the link. http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/jews.htm

She also has all kinds of other newspaper articles (also nicely transcribed, under "Newspaper Research") about various other Civil War topics. This site is so very helpful. Enjoy!

http://www.uttyler.edu/vbetts/
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
A report to the 1853 meeting of a leading antislavery society accurately described Jewish attitudes:

The Jews of the United States have never taken any steps whatever with regard to the Slavery question. As citizens, they deem it their policy “to have everyone choose whichever side he may deem best to promote his own interests and the welfare of his country.”
The objects of so much mean prejudice and unrighteous oppression as the Jews have been for ages, surely they, it would seem, more than any other denomination, ought to be enemies of caste, and friends of universal freedom.


Here is a first...

Yet some Jews held other views of the slavery issue. Rabbi Morris Raphall of New York’s Congregation B’nai Jeshurun was a dramatic orator and writer who had the distinction of being the first Jewish clergyman to deliver an opening prayer for a session of the United States Congress (February 1, 1860).

On National Fast Day he delivered a widely reprinted sermon, “A Bible View of Slavery.” In the North, many were disappointed with his words; Southerners viewed it with satisfaction. “Slavery has existed since the earliest time,” the rabbi wrote. “Slave holding is no sin,” he declared, since “slave property is expressly placed under the protection of the Ten Commandments.” Rabbi Einhorn was aghast and forcefully rebutted Raphall’s words in Sinai.

More Jewish people fought for the South?...

Thousands of Jews volunteered and many died on both sides of the conflict. An estimate by Congressman Simon Wolf placed the number in the Union forces at about 8,400 and in the Confederate forces at about 10,000. Other estimates differ, but it is clear that Jews fought on both sides in numbers greater than their percentage in the general population.

The end... a count...

There were nine Jewish generals in the North and several in the South. Jews fought not only for their respective causes, but also for equal treatment for themselves. Six .Jewish soldiers in the Union army received the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery. When the war ended, Jewish soldiers returned to their homes to rebuild their country and their lives.

Link: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jews-in-the-civil-war/
 
Last edited:
A report to the 1853 meeting of a leading antislavery society accurately described Jewish attitudes:

The Jews of the United States have never taken any steps whatever with regard to the Slavery question. As citizens, they deem it their policy “to have everyone choose whichever side he may deem best to promote his own interests and the welfare of his country.”
The objects of so much mean prejudice and unrighteous oppression as the Jews have been for ages, surely they, it would seem, more than any other denomination, ought to be enemies of caste, and friends of universal freedom.


Here is a first...

Yet some Jews held other views of the slavery issue. Rabbi Morris Raphall of New York’s Congregation B’nai Jeshurun was a dramatic orator and writer who had the distinction of being the first Jewish clergyman to deliver an opening prayer for a session of the United States Congress (February 1, 1860).

On National Fast Day he delivered a widely reprinted sermon, “A Bible View of Slavery.” In the North, many were disappointed with his words; Southerners viewed it with satisfaction. “Slavery has existed since the earliest time,” the rabbi wrote. “Slave holding is no sin,” he declared, since “slave property is expressly placed under the protection of the Ten Commandments.” Rabbi Einhorn was aghast and forcefully rebutted Raphall’s words in Sinai.

Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate cabinet member, owned 140 slaves on his sugar plantation Bellechasse, outside of New Orleans. However, biographer Eli N. Evans notes that Benjamin "came to slave owning late in life from an urban background. Consequently, he was not steeped in its traditional philosophy. He would acquire an articulated point of view, but without the Biblical justifications that sustained its most extreme advocates. Though he had entered the ranks of the planter class that ruled Louisiana, he never felt that slavery reflected the divine order of things. He was not taken in by distorted theories of the Bible; he never argued that blacks were of a lower order; and he hated the cruelty of the overseers he heard about. Benjamin took care to have a plantation noted for its humaneness and sought to be known across Louisiana as a gentleman who treated his slaves well. According to Pierce Butler, former Bellechasse slaves who were still living in the early twentieth century reported 'none but kindly memories and romantic legends of the days of glory on the old place.'''
Eli N. Evans, Judah P. Benjamin - The Jewish Confederate, pg. 33
 

5fish

Captain
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Location
Central Florida
I like how this article does it best to minimize that Jews in the South owned slaves but did not control the slave trade... the point is Jews in the South owned slaves even the city dwellers just like any other Southern...

Link: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jews-and-the-african-slave-trade/

Snip... they did own slaves...

Yes. Jacob Rader Marcus, a historian and Reform rabbi, wrote in his four-volume history of Americans Jews that over 75 percent of Jewish families in Charleston, South Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and Savannah, Georgia, owned slaves, and nearly 40 percent of Jewish households across the country did. The Jewish population in these cities was quite small, however, so the total number of slaves they owned represented just a small fraction of the total slave population; Eli Faber, a historian at New York City’s John Jay College reported that in 1790, Charleston’s Jews owned a total of 93 slaves, and that “perhaps six Jewish families” lived in Savannah in 1771.

Snip... they did participate in the slave trade... as shipowners and middlemen

A number of wealthy Jews were also involved in the slave trade in the Americas, some as shipowners who imported slaves and others as agents who resold them. In the United States, Isaac Da Costa of Charleston, David Franks of Philadelphia and Aaron Lopez of Newport, Rhode Island, are among the early American Jews who were prominent in the importation and sale of African slaves. In addition, some Jews were involved in the trade in various European Caribbean colonies. Alexandre Lindo, a French-born Jew who became a wealthy merchant in Jamaica in the late 18th century, was a major seller of slaves on the island.

Snip...

According to Faber, British Jews were always in the minority of investors in slaving operations and were not known to have been among the primary owners of slave fleets.

with few exceptions, Jews were minor figures in brokering the sale of slaves upon their arrival in the Americas, and given the urban-dwelling propensity of most American Jews,

According to Faber, Jews were more likely than non-Jews to own slaves, but on average they owned fewer of them.

Snip...

Davis went on to note that in the American South in 1830 there were “120 Jews among the 45,000 slaveholders owning twenty or more slaves and only twenty Jews among the 12,000 slaveholders owning fifty or more slaves.”

I like how the article ends chastising anyone who claims the Jews dominated the slave trade... to me the issue is the Southern Jews did participate in the Slavery and their hands are just a soiled as our nation's hands are...
 
Top