Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/453

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
449
THE JEWS: RACE AND ENVIRONMENT

Wales it was found, while taking the census of 1901, that of all married Jews, 781 were married to Jewesses and 686, i. e., 87 per cent., were married to christians.[1]

In the history of the Jews in the United States there are many instances of intermarriage between Jews and christians, even in Colonial times. According to Professor Hollander, the well-known 'Ye Jew doctor,' Jacob Lumbrozo in Maryland married a christian woman about 1660.[2] Dembitz shows that "there is no frequenter of the synagogue who either lived in Kentucky or whose ancestors lived there before 1836," and he gives as a cause that the early Jewish settlers disappeared through intermarriage with christians "and the descendants of the early Jewish settlers are known only by their Jewish family names and their oriental (?) features."[3] One has to read detailed accounts of several Jewish families in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, etc., to be convinced as to the extent of mixed marriages in pre-revolutionary times. The Franks family is particularly interesting: One daughter, Rebecca, married Sir Henry Johnson; another, Mary or Polly, married Andrew Hamilton.[4] About New York, M. J. Kohler says in his work 'Jewish Life in New York before 1800' that "several cases are at hand of intermarriage between Jews and Jewesses to christians and occasional conversions to the prevailing religion."[5] In the 'Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College' Vol. II., 1763, two Jews are mentioned, one 'of Jewish extraction' who became a prominent citizen and one of the founders of the episcopal church in Norwalk; the other married a woman of French Huguenot descent. In Ohio also all traces of the early Jewish settlers have been lost. One is mentioned who was married 'out of his faith' but when he died, in 1821, he asked to be buried with Jewish rites.[6] Speaking of Judah P. Benjamin, of New Orleans, whose wife was a devout catholic and whose daughter married Captain Henri de Bousignac, of the 117th regiment of the French line, Kohler says: "Such intermarriage was, in 1833, not uncommon." A Jewish traveler in New Orleans in 1842 speaks of the synagogue, which merely accommodated fifty persons, and a former "rabbi, a Dutchman, had married a catholic wife, who with difficulty was restrained from sending a crucifix to his grave at his burial."[7]


  1. Census of N. S. W., 1901, Bull. No. 14.
  2. Public. Jewish Histor. Soc, I., p. 29.
  3. Ibid., pp. 99-101.
  4. Westcott, 'Historic Mansions,' quoted from Publ. Jew. Histor. Soc, I., pp. 57-58.
  5. Ibid., II., p. 91.
  6. Ibid., VII., p. 43.
  7. Ibid., XII., pp. 68-69.