Jews of the Black Holocaust: A-G
"What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor."
All of the following "Chosen People" are confirmed to have participated in the Black African slave trade. According to their own literature, each one is a prominent historical figure and most are highly regarded and respected by Jews themselves. Even the most prominent of Jewish Americans never voiced any reservation whatsoever about this practice. Writes Rabbi Bertram W. Korn, "it is realistic to conclude that any Jew who could afford to own slaves [and needed them] would do so." In fact, "Jews participated in every aspect and process of the exploitation of the defenseless blacks." Here, in alphabetical order, is an annotated listing of just a few of those.
- [Copyright 1991 Latimer Associates. All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the Latimer Associates and the Nation of Islam.
- The terms buy, own and sell, and derivatives thereof, in connection with the commerce in Black people, will be used with reservation and primarily for convenience of the reader. In no way should the reader infer sanction of these activities, which are wholly illegal and immoral crimes against humanity, by the use of the terminology of legitimate commercial transactions. Also, the term slave refers to the African men, women and children who were forcibly entrapped in dehumanizing conditions for the profit of others. We do not accept such a term as descriptive of their character or nature, only of their circumstance.]
All references are in The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews
Mordecai Abraham of Virginia placed this advertisement in the Virginia Gazette or American Advertiser on January 12, 1783:
- THIRTY DOLLARS REWARD
- RAN AWAY from the subscriber, in King William County, on Saturday the 5th instant, a large Mulatto Man named OSBOURN, late the property of William Fitzhugh, Esq; he is about five feet ten inches or six feet high, almost white enough to pass for a white-man, he has grey, or rather white eyes, which appear very weak, with a kind of blemish in the right one, occasioned by his shutting it when a person addresses him. His dress is uncertain, though I believe he went off with a blue suit of cloathes, and likewise a coarse upper jacket, and soldier's under jacket and breeches of buff, with buttons marked USA. I am informed he lately lived in Mecklenburg, under Col. Mounford, near Taylor's Ferry on Roanoke. Whoever will apprehend the said fellow and secure him, so that I may get him again, shall receive TWENTY DOLLARS reward, or if delivered to me in King William County, the above reward. All masters of vessels and other persons are hereby forbid to carry the said fellow out of the state, or to employ him in any craft whatever.
Joseph Abrahams, a Jewish businessman of Charleston, South Carolina, placed this advertisement in the Gazette of the State of South-Carolina on August 25, 1779:
- RUN away from the subscriber, a young negro fellow, named Brutus, this country born, about 18 years old; he had on when he went away, an Osnabrugs shirt, brown fustian breeches and Osnabrugs coatee with red cuffs and collar; he was formerly the property of the estate of Mr. Stanyarne: He has a mother in Dorchester. Whoever takes up said negro and delivers him to me, shall receive a reward of one hundred Dollars, and charges paid.
Simon Abrahams of Richmond, Virginia, was fined $3.33 in 1834, "for allowing a hired slave to go at large contrary to the Act of Assembly."
David De Acosta, described as "a gentleman of Spain," owned a forty-one acre plantation on Barbados in 1680 "worked by sixty-one black slaves...seven white servants and three bought ones (felons), apparently all Christians." His will dated February, 1684-1685 dispenses his Africans:
- The two former to enjoy and possess my plantations negroes, &c. each paying half of debts owing, and sharing proceeds and expenses each year. No negroes or anything to be sold, & should Daniel B. Henriques sell anything he will forfeit his inheritance in favour of my wife, & the sale shall be deemed null & void.
In 1863, Jacob Adler and his partner, Herman Cone of Jonesboro, Tennessee, purchased two African men they named "Friendly" and "Joe William," for $4,500.
Charity Adolphus (d. 1773); when her house was burned down, "she escaped with her life, only by being carried out of the burning house by her faithful Negro slave, Darby."
J. Adolfus of Jamaica despised the Black man so much that in 1812, when a Jamaican assemblyman advocated the equality of the "free colored," Adolfus and two other Jews, L. Spyers and J. Da Silva, physically attacked him at his home.
Samuel Alexander was one of the founders of Congregation Beth Shalome of Richmond in 1791. He and his brother Solomon (listed below) were also slave owners who are considered to be humanitarians because they arranged to have their hostages "manumitted." They reserved the right, however, to keep them as indentured servants.
Solomon Alexander was a one-time acting mayor of Richmond, Virginia, who enslaved a Black woman named "Esther."
Jorge de Almeida owned and operated a silver mine in Taxco. In about 1585, at the height of the Inquisition, he and a friend are alleged to have "strangled a Negress who had called a friend of their's a Jew."
Myer Angel, of Richmond, Virginia, accused "Walter Quarles, colored," of stealing two silver watches of the value of $40 each in 1832. Quarles received a sentence of five years confinement in the public jail and penitentiary house "on low and coarse diet, one-tenth part of the time to be spent in solitary confinement."
Juan De Araujo (or Arauxo) "had been a minor slave trader who had travelled widely through the Spanish Indies, between Puebla, Vera Cruz, Cartagena, Havana and, possibly even, Angola."
Issack Asher of New York was charged with "selling an unhealthy Negro" in 1863.
Solomon Audler of New Orleans was listed as the "owner" of four Africans in the census of 1830.
Maurice Barnett of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, "owned" at least eleven African citizens. He was such a prolific slave dealer and auctioneer that twentieth-century picture postcards of the "Old Slave Block" depict his office at 40 St. Louis Street. He was one of the closest associates of the slave-breeding and -smuggling Jewish pirate, Jean Laffite. Below is an example of the Black/Jewish relationship of the time:
- SALES AT AUCTION
- By M. Barnett, Sen., Auctioneer Cornelius Hurst vs. His Creditors - Syndic Sale.
- On Monday, the 2d Dec, 1839, at 12 o'clock noon, at the City Exchange, St. Louis street between Chartres and Royal streets, by order of Alexander Grant, syndic of said estate, and by virtue of an order issued by the honorable the first judicial district court of the state of Louisiana, dated the 26th day of October, 1839, the following slave surrendered to his creditors by said insolent, viz:
- DICK, about 28 years of age, a well disposed man.
OSBORN, about 26 years of age, mulatto; a good carriage driver and waiter, active and handy at anything he is put to.
LUCINDA, about 22 years of age, Osborn's wife, very intelligent, good cook, washer and ironer. Lucinda's Children:
COMMODORE, about 6 years of age,
JOSEPHINE, about 4 years of age,
HENRY, about 2 years of age,
OSBORN, about 1 year of age.
NED, about 19 years of age, accustomed to work in a brick yard.
LOUIS, about 17 years of age, accustomed to work in a brick yard.
MINGO, about 28 years of age, brick moulder, stout able bodied man.
WINNEY, about 37 years of age, worked in a brick yard.
PRISCILLA, about 24 years of age, stout able bodied woman.
SERENA, about 21 years of age, a good off-bearer in a brick yard, and her child.
MATILDA, about 25 years of age, cook, washer and ironer, and her three children, viz:
THOMAS, about 10 years of age.
TONEY, about 6 years of age.
WILLIAM, an infant.
SALLY, about 22 years of age, mild and well disposed woman; cook, washer and ironer.
JULIANNA, about 21 years of age, and her child; accustomed to work in a brick yard.
MARY, about 23 years of age, also accustomed to work in a brick yard.
JACOB, about 25 years of age, stout man, accustomed to work in a brick yard.
Terms - Six months credit for all but Jacob, who will be sold at six and twelve months, for notes drawn and endorsed to the satisfaction of the syndic, who reserves to himself the privilege of refusing names as endorsers, until he is satisfied therewith, without assigning any cause therefor; the notes to bear an interest at the rate of ten per cent per annum (if not met at maturity) until paid - without this however giving the parties thereto the right of prolonging the payment after due. The purchasers will be allowed forty-eight hours after a notification from the notary that the titles are completed, to arrange the settlements, and if not effected within the period, the slave or slaves to be resold at auction, for cash, on the account and risk of the said original purchasers, without delay or public notice; and said parties held responsible for said loss that may accrue thereon, with all expenses, costs, & c.. Acts of sale before Edward Barnett, notary public, at the expense of the purchasers. The slaves not to be delivered until the terms of sale are complied with.
Jacob Barrett of Columbia, South Carolina, and a later resident of Charleston, was a merchant who once traded twenty Black human beings, "...at very large profits, keeping for his own use Armistead Booker, a good-looking, active carriage driver and barber, who attended to his horses and in the store, and Aunt Nanny, a first rate cook." He was the cousin of one of the era's biggest Jewish slave dealers named Jacob Ottolengui.
Hester Barsimon's family of five had "only one black attendant."
Abraham Baruch (d. 1701) household at Bridgetown consisted of three Jews and three slaves. In 1685, "one of his negroes was concerned in a native rebellion and was executed by the Island authorities, whereupon a sympathetic legislature voted his master a sum of £17 10s. Od. by way of compensation!"
Dr. Simon Baruch (b. 1840) was a surgeon and captain in the Confederate Army and, according to Harry Simonhoff, "He went through the terrors of Reconstruction, and as a secret member of the original Ku Klux Klan he wore at night its long white flowing robes emblazoned with a scarlet cross."
Rebecca Baruh lived alone with one slave in seventeenth-century Barbados.
Daniel Becker was convicted of illegal liquor sales to Black slaves in South Carolina in 1836.
Diego Nunes Belmonte and other Portuguese Jewish merchants were partners in the slave trade between Luanda and the West Indies.
Don Manuel Belmonte of Amsterdam was, according to Drs. Isaac S. and Susan A. Emmanuel,
- a Spanish-Jewish nobleman of culture and refinement, high in royal and religious circles, [who] had no qualms about carrying on the slave trade. He and a gentile associate conducted it on an extensive scale, of course with Company participation.
He formed an association with Jean Cooymans, ex-sheriff of Amsterdam, to ship slaves in large quantities to Curaçao.
Judah Phillip Benjamin (1811-1884) was born in the British West Indies and brought up in Charleston. He was a rabid pro-slavery senator from Louisiana in the Civil War era who led the call for secession of the southern states from the Union in order to maintain the profits of free slave labor. He owned a plantation called Bellachasse and used 140 African slaves in its operation.
Benjamin's slavery-supporting career started when he argued the "Creole Case" representing an insurance company with an interest in a slave cargo. He was described by Richard S. Tedlow as:
Benjamin's slavery-supporting career started when he argued the "Creole Case" representing an insurance company with an interest in a slave cargo. He was described by Richard S. Tedlow as:
- The most important American-Jewish diplomat before Henry Kissinger, the most eminent lawyer before Brandeis, the leading figure in martial affairs before Hyman Rickover, the greatest American-Jewish orator, and the most influential Jew ever to take a seat in the United States Senate...
But it was Benjamin the senator who supported the institution of slavery, contending that it was more humane to whip and brand the Black man than to imprison or transport him. Ohio's abolitionist senator, Benjamin F. Wade, denounced Benjamin as, "An Israelite with the principles of an Egyptian."
Benjamin was born on Saint Croix in the West Indies on August 6, 1811. His father was a drifter who has been described as "that rara avis, an unsuccessful Jew" and his mother was of Portuguese descent. The family moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 1822, and soon thereafter Benjamin attracted the attention of a wealthy Jew who sent him first to private school and then to Yale. He left without taking a degree, he claimed, because of financial straits, but there is considerable evidence that he was dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
He was elected to the federal senate in 1852 where he neglected no opportunity to defend the institution of slavery. Confederate president Jefferson Davis chose Benjamin to be attorney general, but in nine months transferred him to the most important of the Confederacy's cabinet positions, Secretary of War. It soon became common knowledge that, next to Davis, Benjamin was the most influential man in the rebel government.
Bertram W. Korn pointed out the irony that Benjamin's honors were "in some measure dependent upon the sufferings of the very Negro slaves he [and others] bought and sold with such equanimity....Few politicians are as consistent in anything as Benjamin was in support of the 'peculiar institution.' Indeed, there was truth in Ben Wade's clever slur..." Even Jewish historian Morris U. Schappes has written that "history has found Benjamin guilty and his cause evil."
Dr. Joseph Bensadon of Louisiana was devoted to the Confederacy and the preservation of the slave system. He served as a surgeon in the Civil War.
Francisco Lopez Blandon (b. 1618) was imprisoned by the Inquisitional authorities for practicing Judaism from 1643 - 1649, but "had a Negro slave who brought him food and messages from the outside. This slave also eavesdropped in the office of the head jailer and reported all that he heard."
Abraham Block of Richmond, Virginia, owned a Black woman named "Matilda Drew." In 1826, she was before the court on the charge of "carrying off two pounds of cheese, valued at 25 cents; 2 1/2 pounds of sugar, valued at 30 cents; one bottle of cordial, $1; and five tumblers, 37 cents, the goods and chattels of Grace Marx. She was found not guilty. For defending her from the charge of stealing $1.62 of property the court allowed her counsel $10."
In 1699, Simon Bonane (or Bonave) was aboard the pirate ship Adventure of London and according to Max J. Kohler: "In August, 1720, we read that 'Simon the Jew don't expect his [slave] ship from Guinea before the fall (sic).'"
Jacob Bortz of Georgia, who is believed to be Jewish, placed this ad in the Savannah Georgia Gazette, July 27, 1774:
- RUN AWAY from the subscriber in Goshen, A NEGROE FELLOW, named FRANK, has some white spots on his legs occasioned by burns, had on a jacket and trowsers of blue negro cloth, and took also with him check trowsers. A reward of 10 s. will be given on delivering him to JACOB BORTZ.
Stephen Boyd was a Dutch Jew of Baltimore who employed a Jewish indentured servant named Wolf Samuels to oversee his 94 Black slaves on his 4,000 acre plantation.
Domingo da Costa Brandau and his wife, Maria Henriques Brandau, lived in Amsterdam in 1639 and had an engenho or plantation in "Arrerippi" (possibly Recife, Brazil), where African citizens were forced to labor without pay.
David Perayra Brandon of Charleston, South Carolina, left instructions to his relatives in his 1838 will:
- I recommend my faithful Servant and friend Juellit or Julien free Negro, to my dear Rachel [his stepdaughter] and W.C. Lambert [her husband] my friend and request them to take him under their protection to treat him as well as they would do me and to give him Such portion of my Cloths as they will think useful to him and never forsake him being the best friend I ever had.
Saul Brown (a.k.a. Pardo, d. 1702) was a Newport merchant involved in the business of African human import/export. In 1695, he was the first hazan (minister) of the Shearith Israel congregation.
Benjamin Bueno was a slave owner in seventeenth century Barbados.
Joseph Bueno (a.k.a. Joseph Bueno de Mesquita, d. 1708) purchased a cemetery for Jews in New York in 1682 with the proceeds from his Caribbean Black-flesh-shipping business. He left to his wife Rachell, "all the slaves now belonging to me..."
Rachael Burgos had a household of six persons and a couple of slaves in Bridgetown in 1680.
Mathias Bush, a member of Lancaster, Pennsylvania Jewish merchantry, placed this advertisement in the summer of 1765:
- Was committed to my Custody, on the 22d Day of this instant July, the following Negroes, viz. a Negroe Man, named Jack, alias Tobias, and a Negroe Woman, Named Jane, Wife to the said Jack, alias Tobias, and her two Children, a Boy, five years old, or thereabouts, and a girl about four years old. The man is about thirty-four years of age, and the woman about thirty; they have sundry good clothes with them; they say they belong to James Campbell, in Conegocheague, near Fort Loudoun. The said Campbell is hereby desired to come and pay the charges, and take them away, or they will be sold for the same, in four weeks from this day, by me.
Matthias Buch, Goaler.
Samuel De Campos, a Barbados merchant in 1720, left to his daughter Sarah "a negro boy by name Scipio and a mulatto girl named Debora." To his daughter Hester, "a negro boy by name Joe and a girl by name Jenny."
Moses Nunez Cardozo (1755-1818) was a Virginia plantation owner and jailer at Richmond's Powhatan Courthouse whose responsibilities included the apprehension and punishment of runaway Africans.
Luis Rodriguez Carvajal became a businessman in New Spain and "perhaps shared with the rest of his family in the lucre of the slave trade."
Raquel Nunez Carvallo left to her son Jacob Frois "one negro woman by name Abbah." To son Isaac Frois "now of the Island of Jamaica...one negro girle by name Rose."
The Cohens of Baltimore were considered the "outstanding" Jewish family in the city and one of the leading Jewish families in the country. They were important bankers, industrialists, and professionals and one of them, Mendes I. Cohen, "belonged to the Peace Party, a camouflaged secessionist group, and was a delegate to the State Peace Convention, another, Edward, went one step further and served in the Confederate army."
Abraham Cohen (c. 1739-1800) of the Georgetown district of South Carolina was a Postmaster General and a slave-dealing auctioneer who held 21 African citizens against their will.
Abraham Cohen financed David Nassi (also Nassy), who was a founder of the Jewish colony at Cayenne, now French Guiana, in 1662. Nassi used countless captive Black people to establish the colony.
Barnett A. Cohen (1770-1839) and his wife Bella, of the Barnwell District of Kings Creek, South Carolina, held more than twenty Africans as slaves.
Benjamin Cohen was a well-known Savannah, Georgia, merchant who believed:
- that the institution of slavery [is]...the only human institution that would elevate the Negro from barbarism and develop the small amount of intellect with which he is endowed.
(See also the listing for Solomon Cohen below who is reported to have expressed a similar sentiment.)
J. S. Cohen was the Mobile, Alabama, City Marshal in 1841. His responsibilities included tracking and apprehending freedom-seeking Africans.
Jacob Cohen's plantation worked 294 slaves at no pay.
Jacob I. Cohen (c. 1744-1823) was born in Germany and operated as a slave maker in the South and then in Philadelphia. He was a land speculator who hired Daniel Boone, the "noted Kentucky pioneer and Indian fighter," to survey his land. Cohen was president of his Jewish Congregation Mikveh Israel from 1810-1811. He and his partner, Isaiah Isaacs of Richmond, enslaved Blacks they named "Tom," "Dick," "Spencer," "Mieshack," "Fanny," "Eliza," and their children of an unspecified number. As a demonstration of good will, Cohen ordered that they be freed after his death and each given $25.
Joseph Cohen of Lynchburg, Virginia, was convicted in 1819 of the murder of one of the many African citizens he enslaved. As a policy, the penalty received was comparable to that of a trivial misdemeanor of today.
Levi Cohen is named on a Georgia receipt for slaves.
Mordecai Cohen (c. 1763-1848) was born in Poland and owned a plantation at St. Andrews, South Carolina, where twenty-seven Africans provided the free field labor. He was one of the wealthiest planters in South Carolina and a commissioner of markets in Charleston from 1826 to 1832. When the twenty-three Black house servants are added, the resulting total is fifty, a number sufficient to place him third among Jewish slave owners in South Carolina. His sons, Marx and David, owned farms and likewise terrorized and exploited Black people.
Samuel Myers Cohen (c. 1708-1743) was a New York City shopkeeper, elected constable of the Dock Ward and high official (shohet and bodek) of Congregation Shearith Israel. In his will he bequeathed to his wife Rachel "all those negroe Slaves I have which I shall die possessed of." Two of his captives named "Windsor" and "Hereford" were implicated in a failed rebellion known as the "Negro Plot" of 1741, but later released.
Simon Cohen (1781-1836) came to New Orleans from Amsterdam in 1810 and eight years later bought a Black woman and her two-month-old baby. This sale was annulled when it was discovered that the woman had already been mortgaged to someone else. By 1820, Cohen owned a tobacconist's shop, a billiard parlor and held four African people as hostages.
Solomon Cohen (1757-1835) was a distinguished merchant and civic leader of the Georgetown district of South Carolina and held nine African citizens against their will. Cohen expressed his anti-Black sentiment in a letter to his sister-in-law Emma Mordecai :
- [I] believe that the institution of slavery was refining and civilizing to the whites -- giving them an elevation of sentiment and ease and dignity of manners only attainable in societies under the restraining influence of a privileged class -- and at the same time the only human institution that could elevate the Negro from barbarism and develop the small amount of intellect with which he is endowed.
Dr. Bertram W. Korn commented that "Perhaps no more concise and self-deceptive rationalization of slavery was ever written than the observations which were recorded by Solomon Cohen."
Solomon Cohen possibly from Augusta, Georgia, is named on an 1863 receipt as the seller of two Black African slaves to Bernhard Phillips for $3,000.
Herman Cone, and his partner, Jacob Adler of Jonesboro, Tennessee, purchased two African Black men in 1863 for $4,000. They named them "Friendly" and "Joe William."
Jacob De Cordova (1808-1868) was a Texas real estate promoter and newspaper editor. He started Jamaica's first daily newspaper and in 1850 he organized Houston's first Jewish place of worship. In 1858, he "wished it distinctly understood that our feelings and education have always been pro-slavery." He said of Texas in a lecture in Philadelphia in 1858:
- By a wise provision of our state constitution, the institution of slavery has been guaranteed to Texas. Such being the case, Texans are proverbially jealous of this right and will not allow any intermeddling with the subject directly or indirectly.
Jacob Cardozo was a conservative Democrat and in his view slavery was economically and morally justified: "The Negroes were often better off than white wage-slaves; the black bondsmen are morally and intellectually inferior." In regard to the ethical question, he placed the responsibility squarely on God: "The reason the Almighty made the colored black is to prove their inferiority." In his Reminiscences of Charleston, he lamented the plight of the poor former slave masters:
- The owner of two hundred to five hundred slaves, with a princely income, has not only to submit to the most degraded employments, but he frequently cannot obtain them. In some instances he has to drive a cart, or attend a retail grocery, while he may have to obey the orders of an ignorant and coarse menial. There is something unnatural in this reverse of position -- something revolting to my sense of propriety in this social degradation.
Emanuel Alvares Correa (1650-1717) was active in the Curaçao slave trade for many years and in 1699 served as an intermediary between the Dutch and Portuguese West Indies companies for the transfer of a shipment of slaves from Africa to Mexico via Curaçao.
Isaac Da Costa (1721-1783) was a merchant and shipping agent of Charleston, South Carolina, and "probably the most outstanding Jew of Charleston before the Revolution." Born in England, he helped to found Congregation Beth Elohim in 1749 and was its first hazzan. He was also active as a Mason. Da Costa was in partnership with Thomas Farr, Jr., handling imports and exports of merchandise including African men, women and children. He was said to be a "large scale" hostage importer and in 1760, he brought to South Carolina 200 African people as slaves, and in 1763 he brought 160 more.
Joseph D'Acosta came to New Amsterdam in 1655. He was a leading merchant in Amsterdam and was a principal shareholder of the slave-dealing Dutch West India Company.
Nemias Daniel, "a Jew," of the Parrish of Christchurch, Barbados, was listed as the owner of 20 acres and twelve "negroes" in 1679.
Aaron Daniels (1776-1862) was a storekeeper in New Orleans who enslaved eight Black people in 1830.
Joseph Darmstadt (died c. 1820) was born in Germany and then moved to Richmond, Virginia. In 1800, he founded the Beth Shalome Congregation and he was active in Masonry and owned a Black man named "George." He once accused a "free" Black man named Daniel Clayton of stealing "a bag and lot of beeswax, valued at 50 shillings." This accusation was, of course, a conviction, for which the Black man was sentenced to 39 lashes to his bare back.
Ansley, Benjamin, George and Solomon Davis were reputed to be the largest Jewish slave dealers. They travelled throughout the South selling gangs of Black men, women and children, including infants, starting in 1838. Based in Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia, the four brothers "did not hesitate to go at lengths to obtain slaves, advertising their supply throughout the south." This advertisement placed by Ansley Davis was recounted in 1830s testimony against the domestic slave trade:
- The subscriber wishes to purchase one hundred slaves of both sexes, from the age of ten to thirty, for which he is disposed to give much higher prices than have heretofore been given. He will call on those living in adjacent counties, to see any property.
They announced in the Columbus, Georgia, Enquirer: "Sixty likely Virginia Negroes -- house servants, field hands, blow boys (buglers), cooks, washers, ironers and three first rate seamstresses." The Davises kept their source of supply secret and assured everyone that they would continue to receive slave shipments by every arrival in Columbus.
They were even mentioned in Harriet Beecher Stowe's A Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin:
- The Davises, in Petersburg, are the great slave-dealers. They are Jews, who came to that place many years ago as poor peddlars; and, I am informed, are members of a family which has its representatives in Philadelphia, New York, &c. These men are always in the market, giving the highest price for slaves. During the summer and fall they buy them up at low prices, trim, shave and wash them, fatten them so that they may look sleek, and sell them to great profit. It might not be unprofitable to inquire how much Northern capital, and what firms in some of the Northern cities, are connected with this detestable business.
Benjamin owned a "colod woman named Elsey," and the Davises even gave warranties on their slaves, as seen in a receipt for a fifteen-year-old Black girl named "Savry" who was "warranted Sound and Healthy." According to the Bibb County, Georgia, records, Benjamin Davis was the seller, and Elisha Davis the buyer, of sixteen Black Africans (listed below [sic]) for $7000 on April 16, 1852.
- Peter Davis (man, dark compliction)
- Tom (man, dark compliction)
- Charles (man, dark compliction)
- Prince (man, dark compliction)
- Peter Griffin (man, dark compliction)
- Sarah (woman, dark compliction)
- Florah (woman, dark compliction)
- Milly (woman, dark compliction)
- Melvina (woman, yellow compliction)
- Francis (woman, yellow compliction)
- Lucy (girl, dark compliction)
- Fanny (girl, dark compliction)
- Henry (boy, dark compliction)
- Loi (boy, dark compliction)
- Sandy (boy, dark compliction)
- Munroe (boy, 6 mos.)
George Davis, Sr. called himself "the Original George Davis," in 1824, in order to differentiate from the others. He acted as the local agent for a New Orleans Jewish slave dealer named Levy Jacobs. He was an auctioneer and property speculator and was prepared to sell:
- Negroes, horses, mules, cows, asses, quadruped and biped, and all other animals in the Catalog of Creation...for cash down and no grumbling. (adv. Oct 15, 1840).
Delinquent tax lists of April 1826 and May 1828 indicate Davis owned and owed: 1826, 7 slaves - $2,500; 1828, 8 slaves - $3,000. He owned 7 slaves according to 1830 census data.
Rachel D'Azevedo of Charleston held Blacks whom she named "Rose," "Flora," "Dinah" and "Maria," who she gave to her daughter, Sarah A. Motta. Another Jew, Abraham Moise, conspired with them to maintain the Blacks as hostages.
David Dearosto was listed as the owner of 41 acres of St. Thomas, Barbados, with 61 Black slaves, 7 "Hired Servants," and 3 "Bought Servants," in a survey of 1670.
Moses Deazevedo, of Barbados, registered his feeling toward his sons in his will dated October 6, 1715:
- To my son Jacob I remit his debt & since he has been disobedient I give him 1/- for whatever claim he may raise against my estate. To son David Eliahu I remit the considerable sum of money paid out for him as appears in my books & since he has been disobedient I give him 1/- in cash. To son Abraham 10/- & my worn clothes and my white linen....To grandaughter Lebanah Mendes for her & her heirs the gift of a mulatto named Mary & of my Cormanty negress named Esperanto....To son Solomon a negress named Zabelina with her mulatto daughter Bashe & her son Cain & her daughter Maria & all their issue & I confirm the deed of gift of my Madagascar (negress) named Diana for him and his heirs mad 29 June 1715.
Mathias Dellyon of the Parish of St. Peter, Barbados, left to each of his daughters Ester and Deborah "a negro woman."
Isaac Delyon, of Charleston, placed this advertisement in the South-Carolina and American General Gazette, on January 19, 1780:
- Five Hundred Dollars Reward
- RUN away some time past, from the subscriber, a negro boy, named Harry, about 17 years of age, about 5 feet 7 inches high, round visage, had on when he went away, a Bath coating close bodied coat, leather breeches, green cloth Jacket and breeches; he is a very likely country born fellow, and speaks good English. The above reward will be paid on his being delivered to the Warden of the Work house, or to me in Charlestown; and One Thousand Pounds on conviction of any white person harbouring him. The said fellow formerly belonged to Boone's estate on John's Island, and has been seen by negroes lurking about said plantation.90
DePas Family of Martinique held much property and many slaves. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs and War, the Duke of Choiseul, enumerated some of their holdings:
- M. DePas -- 3 estates and 280 slaves.
M. DePas, Jr. -- 4 estates with one of them having 100 slaves.
Jean DePas -- a plantation with 30 slaves.
Michel DePas -- ("he is a mulatto and a bastard") one "great estate" with 120 slaves; one estate with 30 slaves.
Others in the family include M. S. J. DePas, Antoine DePas and Lewis DePas.
Abraham Depeza one of the Barbados Hebrew Nation "being sick & weake in body," wrote his will dated August 11, 1716. He left to his youngest son Isaac on his 21st birthday "a negro girl named Obbah." To his daughter Sarah Depeza, "A negro girl named Peggy." To his wife, Hester Depeza, "my negro woman by name Mary..."
DeWolf Family; From 1790 onward, the slave trade of Rhode Island was chiefly in the hands of the brothers DeWolf, who were considered "the most active slave traders in Bristol." The Jewish historians have not explicitly identified the DeWolfs as members of their "race" though others have traced them to apparently Jewish roots. In James Pope-Hennessy's, Sins of the Fathers: A Study of the Atlantic Slave Traders 1441-1807, he states the following:
- Miss Abigail married one of her brother's supercargoes, Marc Antoine de Wolfe, a Jew from the French island of Guadeloupe. De Wolf settled down in his wife's home town of Bristol, Rhode Island, and sent several of their eight sons into the slave trade.
The most famous of these, James DeWolf, was tried before a Newport grand jury in 1791, and found guilty of murder for having thrown into the sea a Black woman who had contracted small-pox while on board his ship. By the time the verdict was reached he had already left the state and was later elected to the United States Senate.
Politically, James and his brother John embraced the Republican party and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson appointed James' brother-in-law, Charles Collins, the reputed part-owner of at least two slavers, to the post of tax collector in two of the busiest slaving ports of Bristol and Warren, Rhode Island. Working in collusion with Collins, George DeWolf dispatched slaver after slaver on illicit voyages -- duty-free. The DeWolfs were not beyond dealing in drugs and are recorded as having invested in hemp, more commonly known as marijuana. James issued these instructions to Jonathon Dennison, the captain of his slaver Ann in July of 1806:
- Your having engaged to go a Voyage to Africa in my ship Ann, my instructions are that you proceed with all possible Dispatch direct to Cape Coast, and make Trade at the Place and its Vicinity, and purchase as many good, healthy young slaves as may be in your power to purchase, by bartering away your present Cargo with the Natives; and after compleating your Business in Africa, you will proceed to Mount Video in South America, and there dispose of your slaves, and purchase a return Cargo of Ox Hides and dried beef, and some Tallow and other produce of that Country, such as you may judge will pay a handsome Profit, and after compleating your Business there, you will return home to this Port with all possible Dispatch.
I am sir, Your Friend and Owner, Jas. De Wolf
When the Rhode Island colonial government tried to pass an act which included outlawing the slave trade, John Brown (the founder of Brown University) and John DeWolf, among others, worked to delete that part of the bill. Neither state nor national prohibition could prevent DeWolf from continuing the trade -- he was still sending slaves to South Carolina.
Luis Dias, of Barbados, left to his family equal shares of "all my Estate, horses, Negroes, Gold, Silver, Jewells, Pearles, Goods, Household stuffe [and] at their pleasure...one piece of gold & another of silver as also 2 negroes small or great."
John Drayton advertised on September 9, 1774, for "an indigo overseer" to look after about 30 Africans.
Elisha Elizer was the Deputy Sheriff in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1802 whose job it was to punish runaway Black people. This may be the same Elizer (Eleazer) listed as a postmaster general in Greenville in 1784 and as a justice of the peace in 1813 by other sources.
Isaac Elizer (1720-1807) owned the slave ship Prince George with Samuel Moses. He outfitted slave ships with bondage hardware and rewarded the crews of his profitable ships with African citizens. "He was a merchant-shipper and, like many of his friends and associates, occasionally engaged in the slave traffic." He was called a "notable and respected businessman" and was active in his Newport, Rhode Island, Jewish congregation. Elizer and Moses wrote to their Captain John Peck, to sail to Africa and sell the liquor
- for the most possible [that] can be gotten, and invest the neat proceeds into as many good merchantable young slaves as you can....As soon as your business there is compleated, make the best of your way from thence to the island of New Providence [Bahamas] and there dispose of your slaves for cash, if the markets are not too dull....And also we allow you for your commission, four slaves upon the purchase of one hundred and four, and the privilege of bringing home three slaves, and your mate, one....But further observe, if you dispose of your slaves in Providence [Bahamas], lay out as much of your neat proceeds as will load your vessel in any commodity of that island, that will be for our best advantage, and the remainder of your effects bring home in money.
- Isaac Elizer, Samuel Moses
In May of 1769, Elizer ran a newspaper advertisement: "Notice: Reward $5, return of runaway negro woman, Bina, threat of prosecution of harborer."
Marie Emeronthe (d. 1851) was a banker and associate of Samuel Hermann. She died owning at least five African hostages.
Daniel Bueno Enriques (b. 1637), also known as Daniell Boyna, owned a ten-acre plantation in St. Michael's Parish, Barbados, and "worked it with fourteen negroes and a white overseer."
Solomon Etting (1764-1847), a prominent Maryland Jew, son-in-law of Barnard Gratz, and member of Philadelphia's Mikveh Israel, held four Black people as slaves in Baltimore. Etting was a merchant in partnership with Joseph Simon and founder of the Masonic lodge in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 1826, he became the first Jew to serve in public office when he was elected to the Baltimore city council and later became its president. He served on the board of the Maryland State Colonization Society, which raised $300,000 in 1831 to send Blacks back to Africa. Less than two percent of the state's Black population showed interest in the project.
Sam Fechheimer owned a large plantation in Rogersville, Kentucky, with many slaves. His niece and nephew, Alfred and Emily Seasongood, described the setting:
- [There were] log cabins, in which the colored help lived...built side by side some distance from my Uncle Sam's home, and we enjoyed going there and watching the little pickaninnies play and their mammies comb and wash them....In this cabin lived a handsome young darkey who was my uncle's valet, and was quite out of the ordinary; he used to sing and play most divinely. The mammies were called aunts, and I remember one especially, very black and fleshy, but the dearest, most affectionate woman....And my Aunt Delia would often bring some of the black babies into the house and comb, wash, and dress them by the open grate fire.
And of the impact of emancipation, Emily wrote:
- The slaves were all set free, and there were trying times, as most of the Southern people were so dependent upon them and were unable to do things for themselves. Many young ladies were helpless....Many slaves who had kind masters refused to be set free and wanted to remain with them.
Jacob Fonseca (d. c. 1729) was a New York merchant who belonged to the Congregation Shearith Israel. He held African citizens named "Sarah," "Faba," "Betty," and "Gnatto." Upon his death, he willed them to his wife Rebecca, "to have and to hold for proper use and behoof for and during her life." The congregation paid his widow "for the hire of two Negros."
Jacob Franco owned "Negroes" named "Clarina," "Anthony," "Johnny" and "Jack." He bequeathed to his son Moses, "the house wherein I now dwell with the yard together with all my negroes goods chattels wares merchandises Jewells money."
David Franks (1720-1793) was a member of one of colonial America's most active merchant families. David Franks dealt regularly with Joseph Simon, the Harts, the Gratz brothers and the Newport gang of slave dealers. He traded heavily with the Indians but supplied weapons to the English against them in Pontiac's War of 1761-1764. In 1761, he signed a petition against a tax on slave imports with a group of Philadelphia merchants. On October 6, 1778, Franks petitioned New York authorities "for a pass to New York for himself, daughter, man-servant, and two maid-servants," but was granted one only for himself, daughter, and one maid-servant, "provided she be an indented servant." Franks' daughter, Mrs. Hamilton, owned a slave named "Sam" who was offered for sale at £45 cash or £50 trust.
Franks was eventually run out of Pennsylvania and exiled to England for his alleged shady dealings with his uncle Nathan Levy and brother Moses Franks. He managed to find refuge in New York and Philadelphia, where he died in a yellow fever epidemic.
Henry Benjamin Franks (d. 1758) of Trenton, New Jersey, identified a "Negro Wench Prisula" as his property in his 1758 will.
Isaac Franks (1759-1822) of Philadelphia "sold slaves from time to time" and owned a young female child named "Bell." The son of Moses Benjamin Franks and an active Mason, he once rented his Germantown house to George Washington. He was a land speculator and held many prominent positions including lieutenant colonel, quartermaster and foragemaster in the military, and justice of the peace and chief clerk of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in the judiciary. Franks advertised in the Pennsylvania Journal on January 4, 1786: "For Sale. A young likely Negro-Wench. About eight years old; has twenty years to serve. Enquire of Isaac Franks."
Jacob Franks (1688-1769), a New York City merchant born in London, arrived in the city in 1708 and married the daughter of Moses Levy. He and his sons, Moses, David and Naphtali Franks, all worked with Levy and Nathan Simpson in the liquor business and the Black flesh trade. According to Jacob Rader Marcus,
- Jacob Franks was engaged in general commerce and shipping. On occasion he imported household servants, Negro slaves. Over a period of years, from 1717 to 1743, he brought twelve, mostly from the West Indies.
Franks was a founder and president of the Shearith Israel Congregation and enslaved at least one African named "Cato." He was said to have gotten his share of business during Queen Anne's War (1702-13), which gave Britain a monopoly on the slave trade. He was the major supplier of British weaponry and the most prominent shipper of New York.
The Frazons--Moses, Joseph, and Samuel--of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held Black slaves and "shipped almost anything from a piece of iron to a biscuit." Samuel Frazon "was once haled into a Boston court for beating a colored servant...not his own (sic)." He held at least one African as his own. In 1702, the Frazons owned their own boat, the Joseph and Rachel (130 tons), and participated in the West Indies trade.
It was once reported that Samuel Frazon had "fallen into the hands of Indians, who had released him when he paid a ransom of '18 pistols.' The same report says that the Indians, however, refused to release his colored servant. This is possibly the same negro, Cypia, mentioned in a trial of Thomas Cooper against the Frazons, where it is shown that Frazon paid over forty two pounds for him in 1704."
According to the 1840 census Minger Goldsmith claimed to be the owner of "1 female slave w/4 children."
The Gomez Family; The patriarch Lewis (or Luis, 1660-1740), was born in Madrid and then moved to New York in 1703. He raised five sons: Mordecai (1688-1750), Daniel (1695-1780), David (1697-1769), and Isaac (1705-1770). They variously traded with Indians, distilled liquor and retailed in New York. Another son, Benjamin (1711-1772) was a New York liquor dealer and pawn broker who enslaved Blacks named "Ishmael" and "Jenney," whom he bequeathed to his daughter "and her heirs forever." Other Black Africans he owned were "John St. John" and a "Mustie wench Kattey," whom he likely raped until his death. She was "to be made free from the Yoke of Slavery, as a reward for her fidelity" -- after his daughter's death.
All of the Gomezes were considered to be the original founders and trustees of Shearith Israel congregation and purchased land that was to be a Jewish cemetery. The elder Gomez was its president in 1730. Benjamin served as parnass four times and the others all served at least once. All were notorious slave merchants and yet highly respected in the Jewish community. They owned the Black man named "Cuffee," who, in the "Negro Plot" of 1741, allegedly planned to burn down the house of his captors.
References to their exploitation of Black Africans are many. Lewis and Mordecai were the agents of the owners of the ship Greyhound that imported "merchandise and negroes" into New York in late 1722. On May 4, 1752, the following advertisement was inserted in the Gazette: "To be sold by Abraham Pereira Mendes, a Parcel of likely young Negroes, Pimento, old Copper, Coffee etc....If any one person has a mind to purchase any of the goods mentioned, they may enquire of Mr. Daniel Gomez." Also in 1752, Gomez had a number of slaves making wax and tallow candles.
Lewis, in his will, left his wife "with as many of my slaves as are necessary to attend her." Mordecai bequeathed to his sons Isaac and Jacob "Equally to be divided between Them my Two Negro Men Slaves called Levant and Frank and my Negro Woman Slave called Perla..."; and to his wife, sons and daughters, "To be divided between Them my Negro Woman Slave called Hannah my Negro Boy Slave called Pascual and my Negro girl Slave called Celia."
In 1802 Lewis Gomez was the turnkey of the jail of Charleston, South Carolina. Part of his responsibilities included the tracking and punishment of freedom-seeking Blacks.
Rebekah Gomez (d. 1801) held a Black hostage as a slave.
Rev. Bernhard Henry Gotthelf of Louisville, Kentucky, was a chaplain in the Confederate Army.
Edward Gottschalk operated a commission brokerage firm that was one of the largest in the city. He bought and sold African citizens and personally held at least nine Blacks as hostage/servants. He owned 65,000 acres of land in Texas with an undetermined, though likely massive, number of African people.
Abraham Gradis (c. 1699-1780) and the Gradis family owned at least 26 ships which they used to ship African hostages to such French colonies as San Domingo, where they "owned extensive territory." Abraham accepted payment for his debts in Black human beings. He devised a strategy, though never implemented, for the development of Louisiana. Rabbi Bertram Korn wrote that, if acted upon, his vision "might have stimulated the kind of growth the colony sorely required." The plan?
- The key to the problem, as Gradis saw it, was the massive importation of Negro slaves into the colony under the auspices of the King -- he suggested ten thousand slaves over a period of five years. These slaves would be utilized primarily for the clearing and cultivation of land.
The Gratz Family of Philadelphia was one of the most distinguished families in Jewish American history. They were the leaders of that city in the colonial period, speculators in western Indian lands and they were closely connected with the Hayses, Moseses and Frankses in their slave shipping business. Michael Gratz (1740-1811) "owned personal slaves," one of whom operated his kosher kitchen. Michael's wife Miriam wrote a letter to him dated June 2, 1777, that reminded: "Donte forget your promess in getting me a Grego [Negro] boy or girl if to be had, as servants is very [scarce] (sic)." The Gratzes funded western expeditions for the purpose of taking Indian lives and land for their personal wealth. More evidence of their slavemaking mentality is in a casual letter written to Michael Gratz by a relative named Josephson (see Meir Josephson).