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Manuscripts (123)

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Chaim Weizmann on the Assassination of Russian Pogrom Organizer Plehve: A Pity He Didn't Die Years Ago

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1585

Russian Interior Minister Vyacheslav Plehve, a notorious pogrom organizer and tormentor of the Jews, had been killed the week before by a bomb. Upon hearing of his death, Chaim Weizmann only wished it had happened sooner.
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Young John F. Kennedy Condemns Harry Truman's Reversal to Support the Partition of Palestine

Autograph Manuscript

2 pages

SMC 149

At a dinner of Jewish veterans, John F. Kennedy, then a congressman from Massachusetts, condemns Harry Truman's withdrawal of support for the partition of Palestine as "one of the most unfortunate reversals in American policy. Kennedy also called for the US to lift the arms embargo in order to give Israel a chance to protect herself in the ensuing war.
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Robert E. Lee's Famous Letter Declining to Furlough, As a Rule, Jewish Confederate Troops for the High Holidays

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 2494

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Truman on the Recognition of the Jewish State and the

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 370

Two days into the Israeli War of Independence, Harry Truman thanks a rabbi for his offer to assist the President, and refers to the fledgling state's situation as "very dark."
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Lincoln's Jewish Friend from Springfield, Julius Hammerslough, Appeals to Rabbi Leeser to Help Fundraise for a Lincoln Memorial

Broadside

1 page

SMC 226

Lincoln's personal friend, Julian Hammerslough, asks Rabbi Leeser to raise funds in his synagogue for a memorial to the late President Lincoln.
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Lincoln Family Friend Edward Jonas Recalls Abraham Lincoln and the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 398

Edward Jonas recalls his interactions with Abraham Lincoln during the Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. Though he was a young boy at the time, he recounted how Lincoln exchanged stories with him and listened extremely attentively to him.
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Camille Pissarro's Autographed Letter in Support of Emile Zola Amidst the Dreyfus Affair

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 919

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An Invitation to hear the Israel Declaration of Independence, May 14 1948

Typed Letter

1 page

SMC 219

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Palestine, Truman Says, is a “Matter of Considerable Disturbance” to be Determined by U.N.

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 686

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General Eisenhower Approves a Soldier's Request to Shoot Captured Reich Marshal Goering -

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 702

Eisenhower had ordered every soldier not on the front to tour a concentration camp in order to understand not only the magnitude of the Holocaust, but the enemy itself. As a result, one soldier put in a request to shoot Hermann Goering, if he was indeed to be shot. Goering was sentenced to death by hanging, but took his own life in his cell. Here, Eisenhower refers to the corpulent Goering as "that fat ___"
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Theodor Herzl Sets Out to Establish the First Zionist Congress and Vows

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 731

Theodor Herzl tries to garner support for his vision of a Jewish State amongst the Hasidic Jews of Europe. Herzl sets forth his ecumenical vision, where Jews would be free to practise (or to not practise) their religion in their own way, with no "falling out over matters of religion." Herzl mentions the first Zionist Congress, confident that the Jews will obtain their ancestral homeland of Palestine.
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Theodore Herzl Admits to Exhaustion But Swears to Continue

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 732

Theodore Herzl admits to exhaustion but vows to continue the "great campaign" for as long as he is able.
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Ben-Gurion: Had a Jewish State Been Established in 1937, Millions of Jews Would Not Have Died in the Holocaust

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 765

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David Ben-Gurion on the Pioneer Generations and the Need for U.S. Immigration

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 769

David Ben Gurion tells his correspondent that Israel was founded by pioneers but now needs immigrants from free countries, most notably the United States, to come and populate it.
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Age Is Not an Impediment to Visiting Israel, David Ben-Gurion Argues

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 771

David Ben-Gurion encourages Ida Camelhor Silverman, an eighty-six year old Hadassah officer, to visit Israel, citing the Biblical Sarah and Moses Montefiore as examples of people who travelled to Israel at advanced ages. Two years after receiving this letter, Silverman actually settled in Israel, where she would die two years after making Israel her home.
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Fifteen Years as Prime Minister is Enough, David Ben-Gurion Says: Now He's Writing the History of Israel

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 772

David Ben-Gurion explains to an admirer that he left politics because no single person should be practically synonymous with a country. He has a different and important task at hand: writing his epic history of Israel from 1870-1965.
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Chaim N. Bialik on the Jewish Persecutions in the Diaspora and the Determination to Make a Home in Zion

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 782

Writing in 1934, Bialik affirms that the latest persecutions of the Jewish people necessitate the creation of a Jewish state.
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Albert Einstein on the

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 792

Here, Einstein writes a conciliatory letter, appreciating that Selig Brodetsky is not alienated by his gruff manner in handling and discussing the Hebrew University, a cause so dear to his heart. At the time a mathematician at the University of Leeds, Brodetsky would go on to become the Hebrew University's president twenty years later.
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Einstein on the Proposal to Create a Jewish Homeland in Peru

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 793

Einstein expresses support for creating a Jewish homeland in Peru, and offers to do what he can to promote the project, cognizant that lending his name to a project concerning Jews will certainly have an impact.
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Einstein, Working to Save Jews from Hitler, Discusses

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 794

Einstein discusses the Brown Book, an expose documenting, amongst other things, the oppression of Jews. The growing momentum of speaking out against Nazism was encouraging for Einstein, but he thought that it would be more impactful if the criticism came from "only foreign non-Jews." Einstein understood that with his high profile, his public condemnation of Germany would have deadly consequences for German Jews.
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Albert Einstein Advises a Young Refugee From Germany, Then Controlled By What He Called

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 796

Einstein encourages a young German immigrant to stay in California, as it offers more opportunities than Palestine; he advises against returning to Europe, from where, as he put it, "no good can come." He especially warns against Germany, controlled by "The Hitler Gang."
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Einstein:

Einstein: "Jewish Smarts Serve One Well"

January 23, 1936

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 797

In his reply to Inge Stern, a German ?migr?e to Los Angeles, Einstein notes that he's pleased she's getting on well, and adds that "Jewish smarts serve one well."
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Albert Einstein Disagrees with Louis Brandeis; Argues that Palestine is Not the Key to Jewish Survival

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 798

Writing in 1936, Einstein disagrees with Louis Brandeis that a Jewish state is necessary for Jewish continuity. "The persecutions will never cause us to perish," Einstein argues, and the dispersion of Jews around the globe ensures their survival.
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Einstein Discusses an Understanding With the Arabs and Zionist Politics in 1942

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 800

Writing in 1942, Einstein reiterates his support for Judah Magnes's proposal that the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine would come to an arrangement themselves, without the intervention of the British.
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Einstein On His Anti-Nazi Work:

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 801

In 1943, Albert Einstein writes to Lionel Ettlinger that had people only listened to the pair of them, the horrors of the Holocaust could have been avoided. Einstein had travelled throughout Belgium and England in 1933 - shortly after Ettlinger had released a documentary about the German aggression against the Jews in Europe - warning anyone who would listen.
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Autograph Letter of Astronaut Judy Resnik-Killed in the Challenger Disaster-About Autographs

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 819

Judy Resnik, the second American woman, and second Jewish person in space, responds to requests for autographs and photographs.
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Signed Photo of Challenger Astronaut Judy Resnik-Second American Woman, and First American Jew, in Space

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 820

Signed photo of doomed Challenger astronaut Judy Resnik-the second American woman, and the first American Jew, in space
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Jerusalem Consul Wallace and Chief Rabbi Salant Solicit American Funds for the City's Institutions

Document Signed

8 pages

SMC 836

The situation of two of Jerusalem’s loftiest institutions - the Talmud Torah House and the General Hospital - are in dire straights, Rabbi Salant and Consul Wallace attest: this, the unhappy result of the “terrible loss of employment and income of our brothers in Russia who have heretofore been great supporters.” They appeal to American Jews for funding.
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A

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 837

Song of Praise written and performed in Hebrew on the occasion of the arrival of the U.S. Consul, General Lew Wallace, to Jerusalem.
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Excessively Rare

Historical artifacts

1 page

SMC 864

Possibly the only surviving sutler token from the trading post at Fort Sill.
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Abraham Lincoln on Issachar Zacharie, His Mysterious Jewish Foot Doctor and Personal Spy

Autograph Manuscript Signed

1 page

SMC 407

Here, Lincoln describes Issachar Zacharie's removal of corns from the President's feet in order to alleviate "what plain people call back-ache." The two would meet frequently, though not for medical reasons. Zacharie served as a spie, and provided the President with valuable information about various aspects of the Confederacy.
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President Abraham Lincoln Appoints Jewish West Pointer Alfred Mordecai Jr. Second Lieutenant

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 445

President Abraham Lincoln appoints Alfred Mordecai Jr. a Second Lieutenant four months into the Civil War. Mordecai would climb the ranks and die a general.
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Abraham Lincoln Suggests Suffrage for Some Louisiana Blacks: The

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 448

Abraham Lincoln tactfully suggests to the new governor of the freshly freed state of Louisiana, Michael Hahn, that Hahn might grant suffrage for blacks who either fought for the Union or were "very intelligent." This proposal was a very elegant compromise between those who did not want suffrage for blacks and those who did; it also ensured that Lincoln, right before an election, didn't rock the boat too much.
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FDR's 1938 Plan to Settle Jewish and

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 473

In 1938, Franklin Delano Roosevelt remarks, in the strictest privacy, that "in the crowded state of affairs in some nations in Europe and in certain areas of the United States, existing situations could be relieved by a small but fairly constant stream of emigrants to the unoccupied parts of the world." FDR is referring here to not only "white" refugees, but to European Jews as well.
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Emile Zola Writes to Alfred Dreyfus at the Height of the Dreyfus Affair

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 509

Emile Zola's calling card, asking Alfred Dreyfus to send him a document which he has asked Zola to sign.
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Alfred Dreyfus Writes to Emile Zola's Widow to Commemorate the Anniversary of the Publication of

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 510

Eight years after Emile Zola has died, Alfred Dreyfus continues to expresses his gratitude to Alexandrine Zola, Emile Zola's widow, on the twelfth anniversary of the publication of "J'Accuse."
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Alfred Dreyfus Thanks Senator Leopold Thezard Who Challenged the Refusal to Allow His Wife to Join Him in Exile

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 512

Alfred Dreyfus thanks French Senator, Leopold Thezard, who was also a professor of law at Poitiers University, for his support. Thezard argued against the illegality of the French government to deny Lucie Dreyfus the right to join her husband in exile.
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Theodor Herzl Asks Jewish Sculptor Samuel Friedrich Beer to Show

Calling Card

1 page

SMC 516

Theodor Herzl asks his friend, the sculptor Samuel Friedrich Beer to show an acquaintance, a Mr. Simon, around his studio.
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Abraham Lincoln, Noting

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 533

Here President Lincoln makes an historic appointment for primarily political purpose. Mindful of the support that Jews, flocking to the Republican Party, had given him, Lincoln was clearly eager to repay the favor.
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Rabbi Sabato Morais Sends His Synagogue's Contribution to the Lincoln Monument

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 538

Rabbi Sabato Morais of Congregation Mikve Israel sends his congregation's contribution to the Lincoln Memorial to be built in Washington. The synagogue was part of an appeal to all religious institutions in Philadelphia, and Morais, who revered Lincoln, was proud to report to the city's mayor that his congregation had raised $300.
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Golda Meir: Her

Calling Card

2 pages

SMC 540

Here, future Prime Minister Golda Meir, then Labor Minister Golda Myerson, signs her name, in Hebrew, on her Calling Card, sometime between 1949 and 1956 – before, that is, Ben-Gurion ordered her to Hebraicize her name.
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Alfred Dreyfus Reviews Case Against Him, Proclaims His Innocence, and Demands Another Trial

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 617

Alfred Dreyfus respectfully demands a retrial for his trumped-up treason charge from the French prime minister, and vows to prove his innocence till his dying day.
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Josephine Earp, Wyatt Earp’s Jewish Widow, Admits Her Destitution to Earp’s Biographer

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 618

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Harper's Weekly With Illustrated Story About Five Union Soldiers, Including a Jew, Executed for Desertion

Ephemera

3 pages

SMC 650

Original Harper's Weekly for September 26, 1863 about the execution of five Union deserters at Beverly Ford; with illustrations.
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Rare Signed Copy of Lincoln's Jewish Chiropodist and Spy, Dr. Issachar Zacharie's Book

Signed Book Inscribed

3 pages

SMC 676

Rare signed copy of Dr. Issachar Zacharie's book "Surgical and Practical Observations on the Diseases of the Human Foot." His book, was most likely plagiarized, and his credentials, equally as likely to be false.
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Heartsick, Max Nordau Writes About the Death of Theodor Herzl

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 235

Max Nordau co-founded the World Zionist Congress with Theodor Herzl, and was his psychiatrist and friend. Here, still reeling from Herzl's death, thanks an American journalist for not only writing an article about Herzl, but also for his kind depiction of Nordau in the article.
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Mordecai Manuel Noah and Isaac Leeser Propose Relief for the Poor Jews of Palestine

Autograph Document Signed

1 page

SMC 237

Mordecai Manuel Noah and Isaac Leeser propose relief for the poor Jews of Palestine, albeit through different channels. This typifies their differences of opinion and approach where the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land was concerned.
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Praising the United Jewish Appeal, FDR Mentions Suffering Brought on by the Nazis

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 249

President Franklin D. Roosevelt writes a bland letter to the chairmen of the United Jewish Appeal, in which he scratches the surface of the Holocaust and rather hollowly endorses the UJA.
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Alexander Hart's Civil War Sword and Scabbard, Presented Upon His Promotion to Captain

Historical artifacts

3 pages

SMC 255

Sword and Scabbard of Alexander Hart, a religious Jewish haberdasher who led the 5th Louisiana Infantry.
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William Tecumseh Sherman Vents Anti-Semitic Prejudices, Discusses Runaway Slaves, & Sketches Total War

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 259

Writing during the war, Sherman casually blames smuggling and theft on Jews. Additionally, he depicts the hatred of the Southern population towards the North, justifying, presumably, his harsh conduct of war.
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Dr. Jacob de Silva Solis Cohen: A Scarce Civil War Autograph

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 307

Promotion of war hero Lt. Commander James Kelsey Cogswell to Commander; signed by William McKinley on the first day of his second term as president.
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Jewish General Edward S. Salomon Accepts an Invitation to Meet With His Old Comrades-in-Arms

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 308

Edward S. Salomon was a hero of Gettysburg and Atlanta, rising through the ranks and eventually becoming a Brigadier General. He commanded a Jewish regiment, the 82nd Illinois, and here accepts an invitation "to meet the officers of the late Army of the Cumberland."
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Einstein on the Tragedy of Herzl's Son:

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 311

Albert Einstein comments that the tragic story of Theodor Herzl's children "constitutes a warning to all Jews against defection from their people," and gives permission to the author of a forthcoming book about Herzl to use Einstein's remark for PR.
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In 1936, As Hitler Closes In, Freud Acts to Help a Colleague's Son Who Has Been Charged With High Treason

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 314

Sigmund Freud writes to support his friend Paul Federn, whose anti-fascist son has been arrested for the second time for high treason in Austria. Freud had previously lent his friend 3000 francs and insists that he accept the additional 2000 enclosed in the letter.
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President Herbert Hoover Silent on 1929 Hebron Massacre

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 330

Writing to a minister's wife who was horrified by the 1929 anti-Jewish Hebron massacre in Palestine, President Herbert Hoover responds coolly to her "interesting observations."
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Beset By an Ally-Turned-Detractor, Theodor Herzl Says It's a

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 331

Theodor Herzl asks Ulla Wolff how much she wishes to be paid for her article in his newspaper Die Welt, insisting that frankness is the best way to avoid awkwardness between friends. He goes on to be even more candid, and describes his acrimonious split with one-time editor of the newspaper, Saul Raphael Landau, writing that it is a "miracle from God" that Herzl himself hasn't become an antisemite.
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Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 349

A subscriber of Leeser's periodical The Occident beseeches the publicly neutral Leeser to intervene with President Lincoln in order to end the Civil War.
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Rare Abraham Lincoln Letter to His Dear Friend Abraham Jonas - He is

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 350

Abraham Lincoln makes an extremely rare allusion, by way of a none-too-kind pun, to an intimate family problem. Lincoln cannot come to Quincy to speak on behalf of the Republican ticket, because he is working day and night to keep his wayward, crippled step-nephew out of jail. His nephew was the source of a considerable amount of trouble for Lincoln, and here he refers to it in code, for Jonas alone to understand.
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President Abraham Lincoln Thanks a Jewish Philadelphian for the Gift of a Suit

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 356

President Lincoln hand-writes every component of a letter of thanks to Jewish civic leader L.J. Lieberman thanking him on behalf of Messrs. Rockhill and Wilson, clothiers, who had donated a suit tailored to the President's measurements to the Great Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia in June of 1864.
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Abraham Lincoln Sends His Autograph as a Favor to His Jewish Friend Sigismund Kaufmann

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 357

Sigismund Kaufmann, a prominent Jewish-German, was a friend of President Lincoln, and had amassed the support of New York's German Jews in favor of Lincoln. He had requested Lincoln's autograph, and the president happily obliged.
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Ronald Reagan Writes About How Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto Joined the Polish Uprising Against the Nazis

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 150

Ronald Reagan denounces socialism to a correspondent abroad, and makes special mention of the atrocities committed by the socialism of the Soviets and the Germans during World War II. Reagan mentions that the Soviets held back whilst the Nazis slaughtered the Polish freedom fighters who were mostly, he mistakenly claims, Jews from the Ghetto.
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Chaim Weizmann and Albert Einstein Sign a Hebrew University Postcard

Signature

1 page

SMC 155

Rare Hebrew University postcard signed by Chaim Weizmann and Albert Einstein, who, as much as anyone, made the dream of a Hebrew University in Jerusalem a reality.
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Jewish Civil War Union Surgeon Morris Asch Rules on Another Surgeon's Exorbitant Bill

Autograph Endorsement Signed

6 pages

SMC 157

A Dr. McCoy, accused by the Surgeon General of charging exorbitantly for emergency services rendered, has had his bill cut in half. Asch rejects McCoy's appeal, and upholds the decision to reduce the bill.
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Jewish Colonel Max Friedman Certifies an Enlistment into the Cameron Dragoons

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 166

Jewish Colonel Max Friedman Certifies the enlistment of Joshua Pickering into the Cameron Dragoons, a largely Jewish regiment.
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Rabbi Arnold Fischel Writes to Rabbi Sabato Morais About a Lecture on International Jewry

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 170

Rabbi Arnold Fischer, the Dutch Ashkenazi leader of the Portuguese Sephardi synagogue in New York writes to the Italian rabbi of the Sephardi synagogue in Philadelphia, Rabbi Sabato Morais to ask him for information about Jewish life in Italy for his colleague, Raphael de Cordova, a Jew from Jamaica, who was preparing a lecture about Jewish life around the world.
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Calling Himself a

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 178

Chaim Weizmann, who was instrumental in establishing the Hebrew University, writes here of how it would be a "dream" to receive a degree from a Jewish University "of our own," imagining a graduation ceremony atop Mt. Zion.
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Jewish Confederates: Letter Regarding Benjamin Mordecai's Support of a Commission for Jacob Valentine

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 181

The secretary to the governor of South Carolina assures Charleston native Benjamin Mordecai that Jacob Valentine would be considered for a commission in service to the state. Mordecai had made possible South Carolina's secession from the Union with a generous donation.
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David Ben-Gurion on Eisenhower:

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 189

David Ben-Gurion recalls Dwight D. Eisenhower as a "lovely person," who wanted to help the Jews immediately after World War II, but was prevented from doing so by the British Foreign Office and the American State Department.
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Abraham Lincoln Endorses the Appointment of a Jewish Sutler, Henry Rice

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 193

Abraham Lincoln endorses General Alexander McClernand's pick for the position of sutler (a civilian merchant who sells goods to the army), Henry Rice.
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President Lyndon Johnson Salutes Sir Winston Churchill's Commitment to Zionism

Typed Letter Signed

5 pages

SMC 194

President Lyndon B. Johnson writes to Dr. Max Nussbaum, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, to add his congratulations to Sir Winston Churchill on receiving the Theodor Herzl award for his contributions to the Zionist cause.
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Theodor Herzl, Hurt and Frustrated, Considers Quitting-in 1896, the First Year of the Zionist Movement

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 195

Herzl requests from the Lemberg Zionists a copy of a letter in which he reputedly said that an English millionaire was willing to sacrifice 150 million guilders – a "gross distortion or silly misunderstanding" of what he actually said. He is also hurt by the tone in which he was discussed in this connection - so much so, in fact, that he is considering resigning from the Zionist movement.
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Theodor Herzl Sends Postcard From Jerusalem to Menachem Ussishkin Ahead of Meeting With Kaiser Wilhelm

Card Signed

2 pages

SMC 207

In 1898, Theodor Herzl came to Jerusalem to ask Kaiser Wilhelm to appeal to the Turks for the creation of a Jewish state under a German protectorate. He sent Menachem Ussishkin a postcard from the Holy City.
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Simon Wolf's Original Contract For the Book

Document Signed

3 pages

SMC 109

This contract between author and scholar Simon Wolf, and publisher and editor Louis E. Levy, is a seminal document of a seminal work, The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen, first published in 1895 and still in print, and use, over one hundred years later.
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T.E. Lawrence Wants to

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 111

T.E. Lawrence writes to his superior at the Arab Bureau, General Clayton, to ask if he should send a letter he wrote to Sir Mark Sykes, the man responsible for divvying up the Middle East between the English and the French. Here, Lawrence mentions to Clayton that the "Jewish section" should be cleared up, and when they fight the French, the French section will fall into English hands, as well.
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Mark Twain to French Jewish Writer Marcel Schwob:

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 118

Here Twain denounces a French translation of a story he did not write, pronouncing it a "singularly unpleasant production." He assures Schwob that he has been deceived: "I do commit crimes," he writes, "but they are not of this grade."
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Mark Twain's Autograph Notes Regarding People, Places, and Recalling an Incident

Autograph Note

6 pages

SMC 125

Mark Twain's notes from 1907, in two sections. One, in the manner of a questionnaire, matches names to places (Joe Goodman's, for instance, with "San Francisco, and Alameda") and indicates where Clemens had not been (Los Angeles & Palmyra); the other section mostly concerns an incident, and includes dialogue.
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Western Gambler

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 135

This license, signed by Sheriff Johnny Behan, gave the famous gambler Ike Isaacs the right to run his faro game for one month, at a cost of $25.00 – about $525.00 in today’s money.
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In 1851, Rabbi Gotthelf's Louisville Congregation Votes to Send $100 Per Year for Jerusalem's Poor

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 137

Rabbi Gotthelf, the first spiritual leader of the Louisville synagogue of Adas Israel, tells Isaac Leeser, the editor of The Occident, that his congregation has pledged to donate $100 a year to Jerusalem's poor.
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President Grant Stays an Execution of African-American Who Murdered a Jewish Peddler

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 144

President Grant issues a stay of execution for Thomas Wright, an African-American who murdered Samuel Rogerski, a Jewish peddler.
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Benjamin Mordecai, Jewish Benefactor of Confederate Cause Honored by the Famed Palmetto Riflemen

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 148

Benjamin Mordecai graciously responds to the soldiers of the Palmetto Riflemen, who had thanked him for his donation.
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Chaim Weizmann Writes to Orde Wingate's Widow About Wingate's Death and Memorial

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 377

Chaim Weizmann writes to Orde Wingate's widow, Lorna, about the upcoming dates for a memorial service for her husband in the Great Synagogues in London and Jerusalem.
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Chaim Weizmann Analyzes British Partition Plans and Prerequisites for Statehood; Blasts American Jewry

Autograph Letter Signed

5 pages

SMC 380

Chaim Weizmann accepts Wingate's offer to organize guerilla night squads to defend against Arab terrorism, analyzes the British Partition Plans, and blasts American Jewry - all in one letter.
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Mark Twain Inquires if Alfred Dreyfus Was Struck in the Face With the Hilt of a Sword

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 388

Here, Samuel Clemens, who had been in Paris when the Dreyfus affair struck, urgently seeks a detail of Dreyfus' degradation and abuse.
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Einstein on Zionism: He is for a Jewish Homeland, But Not a Separate State

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 392

Rather than an independent Jewish state, Einstein would like to see a "secured bi-national status in Palestine with free immigration," adding that it defies common sense to "ask to be given the political rule over Palestine where two thirds of the population are not Jewish."
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Eisenhower's Trip to Ohrdruf Concentration Camp:

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 393

General Eisenhower writes to his wife, after seeing the Ohrdruf concentration camp, that he never dreamt that such cruelty could exist in this world. Poignantly, he mentions that many American soldiers do not seem to know what they are fighting for. Eisenhower ordered every unit not on the front lines to tour the camp, and writes here "now, at least, he will know what he is fighting against."
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Ulysses S. Grant Tries to Lose the Anti-Semite Label Engendered to Him by His Infamous “Jew Order”

Autograph Letter Signed

4 pages

SMC 394

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Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Looks Forward to Receiving Books on Judaism

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 925

After lunching with Lincoln biographer and Jewish activist Emmanuel Hertz, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. tells Hertz that he looks forward to receiving the latter's brother's book on Judaism, as well as the Jewish Publication Society's latest translation of the Bible.
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Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Has Received Jewish Books and is Reading Them With

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 926

Having received the Jewish books from Emmanuel Hertz, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. follows up and tells him that he's already set to reading them with "the greatest of interest."
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Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Lists Favorite Parts from

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 927

Theodore Roosevelt Jr. avidly read Joseph Hertz's book about Jewish thought, and lists for Hertz's brother Emanuel, his favorite passages.
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Theodore Roosevelt Jr. Tells Emanuel Hertz He Will Always Try to Justify His Good Opinion

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 929

Having lunched together and corresponded for some half dozen years, Roosevelt tells Hertz it will always be his earnest endeavor to justify his good opinion.
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Account of Execution of Deserters at Beverly Ford Mentions  Rabbi Praying With One of the Condemned Men

Autograph Letter Signed

5 pages

SMC 1026

Captain Jacob Winans writes to his father about the execution of deserters at Beverly Ford, mentioning the presence of a rabbi to pray with one of the convicted soldiers.
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Breathtaking Detailed Eyewitness Account of the Execution of Deserters at Beverly Ford

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1027

This eyewitness account details the chronology of events, or protocol of the execution of deserters at Beverly Ford. Those executed had with them the clergyman of their faith. They "were accompanied by a Catholic priest, a Jewish Rabbi and a Methodist preacher."
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Lincoln Interjects Himself Into a Case of Two Jewish Merchants Charged With Selling Goods to Blockaders

Autograph Note Signed

1 page

SMC 1038

Meyer and Philip Wallach were Jewish brothers who were charged with selling goods to blockaders and were held at an infamous prison for Confederate officers. Here, President Lincoln protects them by ordering the head of the prison to keep them in his custody - to neither send them away or allow them to be transferred.
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Carl Sandburg: Walt Whitman

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1110

Carl Sandburg, a poet who won acclaim for his four-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, tells Morris Lychenheim,one of Whitman’s last surviving friends, that Walt Whitman "strolls in and out of the pages regularly."
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Statesman, Political Exile, Attorney, and Queen's Counsel, Judah Benjamin Arranges a Meeting

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1118

Judah P. Benjamin, the Jewish former statesman of different roles in the Confederacy, relocated to England and became a successful barrister there. Four years before he wrote this letter, he obtained the rank of Queen's Counsel, and in order to save his correspondent the trouble, offers to call on her at home, rather than in his offices at the Temple.
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American Civil War Union General George B. McClellan's Antisemitic Letter

Autograph Letter Signed

3 pages

SMC 1124

Returning from Germany to the United States in the 1870s, General George McClellan speaks disparagingly of the Jewish people on board, and his success in distancing himself from the "children of Jacob."
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Dr. Jacob Da Silva Solis Cohen Certifies the 1864 Death of a

Document Signed

1 page

SMC 1132

Here J. Solis Cohen certifies the death of a former slave in Philadelphia, identifying him as a "Contraband": a legally complicated and politically fraught designation indicating a "self-emancipated" human chattel, many of whom, as the Union armies moved in the South, rushed toward the advancing troops, there to join the ranks of their liberators.
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Reagan, Arguing for Capital Punishment, Discusses the Rabbinic Interpretation of the Sixth Commandment

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1477

Reagan corrects protestors of the death penalty who quote the Bible saying "Thou Shalt Not Kill," referring to capital punishment. According to the original Hebrew, Regan argues, the Bible commands one not to murder - the convicted was, himself, charged with murdering a police officer in the first degree. The Bible also calls for reciprocal justice, ie, "an eye for an eye."
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A Rare Artifact Associated With 1862 Battlefield Passover Seder: A G.W. Forbes Civil War Sutler's Token

Historical artifacts

1 page

SMC 1529

Token of the Jewish sutler G.W. Forbes, who brought matzahs for his coreligionists of the Ohio 23rd regiment to celebrate the seder in 1862.
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Benjamin Harrison Names Solomon Hirsch Minister to Turkey, the Third Jew to Hold That Diplomatic Rank

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1531

Solomon Hirsch tops President Benjamin Harrison's list of diplomatic appointees. Harrison was indebted to the German-born Hirsch, who carried his home-state of Oregon as Republican.
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Secretary of Interior on Campaign to Stop German Annihilation of Jews -The Holocaust- During WWII

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1616

Letter from the Secretary of the Interior of the United States, inviting friends to join a campaign to end the German annihilation of the Jews of Europe.
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H.C. Corbin, Who Established Policy of Religious Furloughs for Jewish Soldiers, Postbellum Army Documents

Document Signed

4 pages

SMC 1619

Collection of documents signed by Henry C. Corbin, who, as Assistant Adjutant General during the Spanish-American War, established the policy that religious furloughs were to be granted freely to Jewish men in uniform.
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An Early Civil War Treatise on Gunshot Wounds By Surgeon General P.J. Horowitz

Autograph Document Signed

6 pages

SMC 1639

P.J. Horwitz, a Baltimore Jew appointed Surgeon General of the Navy, describes in detail the variety of gunshot wounds, and their treatment, early in the Civil War, as most surgeons had not yet encountered gunshot wounds.
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Jewish Confederate Hero Alexander Hart Grants Leave to Officers During a Brief Lull in the Civil War

Document Signed

2 pages

SMC 1642

Alexander Hart, a storied and battle-proven Major in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States, directs and signs off on thirty-day leaves for officers.
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President Calvin Coolidge Writes to a Jewish American About the Book

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1650

This brief letter documents a rare instance of Calvin Coolidge communicating with a Jewish American and, rarer still, about an aspect of Judaism: here he thanks Emanuel Hertz for a copy of the Chief Rabbi of the British Empire’s popular work, A Book of Jewish Thoughts.
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Herzl Directs U.S. Zionists to Force McKinley to Protest Turkish Discrimination of Jews in Palestine

Typed Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1680

In 1900, the Ottoman Empire officially barred Jews from visiting the Holy Land. The Italian government immediately protested this violation of human rights, which distinguished between Jewish and Gentile Italian citizens. Here, Theodor Herzl aims to introduce the debate to Congress or Senate so that a country as powerful as the United States would emulate Italy's example, inspiring other countries to follow suit.
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Carte-de-Visite of Abolitionist Crusader Rabbi David Einhorn

Carte de Visite

1 page

SMC 1764

This photograph was taken in Baltimore, where the German rabbi had his first American congregation, and where he eventually had to flee for his life due to his outspoken opposition to slavery. He would never return.
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Einstein on the Holocaust: He Never Forgot, Never Forgave

Typed Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1782

Einstein declines an invitation to join Weltstaatliga (World State League), explaining that he can no longer participate in German public endeavors after the genocide of the Jews.
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Albert Einstein Renounces German Citizenship;

Autograph Letter Signed

2 pages

SMC 1792

Albert Einstein writes to his son from aboard the Belgenland, where he has learned that Hitler had given orders to ransack not only his Berlin apartment, but also his summer cottage. He decides whilst onboard to renounce his German citizenship, and tells his son that he will likely never return to Germany again.
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At the End of His Life, Albert Einstein Writes Check to His Beloved Hebrew University

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 1814

The Hebrew University was a dream towards which Einstein devoted a considerable amount of time, including serving on its board, speaking at its inauguration, and bequeathing all of his papers to it. Nearing the end of his life, he wrote this check, in 1955 for $10 (equivalent to $90 in today's money) to the American Friends of the Hebrew University.
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Abraham Lincoln’s Final Hours, Death, and Autopsy Report Documented by Dr. Robert Stone

Autograph Manuscript

7 pages

SMC 1844

An account of Lincoln's death, written by his personal physician, Dr. Robert K. Stone. This seven-page narrative details Dr. Stone’s dramatic rush to the stricken president’s side, and, some eight hours later, Lincoln’s final minutes, decline, death, and autopsy. The report is stained with human blood; it is, very likely, Lincoln’s.
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Camille Pissarro Protests Alfred Dreyfus's Conviction

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 1895

Just five days after Zola published “J’accuse!” in the French newspaper L’Aurore, Pissarro writes to say that he wishes his name added to “the protestation against the awful judgment of the court-martial” to be published, apparently, in that crusading paper.
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Lincoln's Second Testimonial for Issachar Zacharie, His Mysterious Jewish Chiropodist - And Personal Spy

Autograph Testimonial Signed

1 page

SMC 1906

In the midst of a hectic schedule, President Lincoln finds the time to endorse Issachar Zacharie, his Jewish chiropodist and spy: the same week as the bloody Battle of Antietam, and the same day Lincoln read his Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet.
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Rabbi Isaac Leeser's Review of Convert and Early American Zionist Warder Cresson's

Autograph Manuscript

4 pages

SMC 1921

Rabbi Isaac Leeser reviews the American Zionist Warder Cresson's book The Key of David. Leeser explictly states that he does not "wish to be considered as endorsing all Mr. C. advances." Nor does he regularly read his work. However, he continues, it makes for enjoyable reading to those who are "fond of high-seasoned polemical writings."
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Check of Jewish-Owned Cochise County Bank in Tombstone Sends Money to and from Jewish Merchants

Check Signed

1 page

SMC 1924

Interesting artifact of Jewish life in the American West: a transaction from a Jewish owned bank in Tombstone to a Jewish tobacconists in San Francisco.
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1856 Poll Book Certifying Abraham Jonas, Lincoln's Intimate Jewish Friend, an Elector

Ephemera

3 pages

SMC 2176

Abraham Lincoln appears alongside one of his best friends, a British born Jew named Abraham Jonas, in an 1856 poll book.
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General Benjamin Butler: The Jews

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 2182

General Butler, discussing the arrest of two Jewish blockade-runners, displays his notorious anti-Semitism.
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Civil War 25-Cent Sutler Token From L. Goldheim of J.E.B Stuart's 1st Virginia Cavalry

Historical artifacts

1 page

SMC 2234

Lazarus Goldheim 25-cent token: Goldheim, hailing from Baltimore, was the sutler for the 1st Virginia Cavalry, one of the Confederacy's most celebrated fighting units.
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50 Cent Civil War Sutler Token of Jewish Sutler and Abraham Lincoln Friend, Henry Rice

Historical artifacts

1 page

SMC 2242

This Civil War Sutler token, at 50 cents, is the largest denomination of sutler currency issued during the war. This token was issued by Henry Rice, a Jewish immigrant from Germany, who would come to endorse Abraham Lincoln as a young lawyer, remain friends with Lincoln throughout his career, and even to offer to make his inaugural suit.
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Theodor Herzl Signed Photograph, Taken in Basel, Switzerland

Signed Photograph

1 page

SMC 2316

Perhaps the most iconic photo of Theodor Herzl, taken on the balcony of the Three Kings Hotel in Basel, Switzerland, in December of 1901. Signed.
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Writing to Gideon Welles, Abraham Lincoln Attends to a Request From Jewish Congressman Leonard Myers

Autograph Letter Signed

1 page

SMC 2340

Republican Congressman Leonard Myers of Pennsylvania, renowned for his dedication to civil rights, wrote to President Abraham Lincoln not infrequently on behalf of those seeking an introduction, an appointment, or something to do with the machinations of war. Here, Lincoln writes to the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, that he wishes to accommodate Myers's request to appoint Charles R. Wilson to the Naval School.
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Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Ball , 1861: Invitation Printed By, and Naming as a Ball Manager, Adolphus S. Solomons

Ephemera

1 page

SMC 2367

Rare invitation to Abraham Lincoln's inaugural ball, prominently featuring the name of the Jewish manager and printer of the invitation, Adolphus S. Solomons, twice.
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Lincoln Assassination Eyewitness Recalls Running to Fetch Dr. Liebermann Who Attended Lincoln's Deathbed

Autograph Letter Signed

8 pages

SMC 2388

Samuel Koontz ran to fetch the Russian-born Jewish Dr. Charles Henry Liebermann, who lived a scant two blocks from Ford's Theatre. The news that Liebermann was the first "important" doctor to attend Lincoln - discounting the gaggle of doctors (seven in all) from Ford's theatre - is significant. He was the first to treat him, owing to the distance between his house and the theatre.
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