Page 81 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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Manuscripts of the Colonial Period
The Lyons Collection of original documents represents the
most important resource every gathered together for the study
of American Jewish history. It consists of primary source material
relating to the Jews in North and South America in general,
and to New York City, Philadelphia, Newport, Rhode Island
and the West Indies in particular, from the early 18th century
un til the Civil War. A detailed calendar of this collection has
appeared as volumes 21 and 27 of the Society’s journal.
The Sheftall Papers constitute the papers of Mordecai Sheftall,
who served as the Assistant Deputy Commissary General of the
State of Georgia during the Revolutionary War, and was an
important merchant during the Colonial period in America.
The material in the Oppenheim Collection relates to the
early history of the Jews in Brazil, the Dutch West Indies, and
New York City. I t consists in great part of the only extant
transcripts of official records from government archives, many of
which have disappeared.
Approximately 7000 manuscripts form the collection of the
Lopez Papers. I t describes the commercial activities of the most
successful merchant in Newport, Rhode Island, during the
Colonial period.
The Hart Papers are the records and extant documents of a
Colonial Canadian family which settled in Three Rivers, Quebec.
The Society is fortunate in having a significant amount of
early Mexican Inquisition
procesos,
documents relating to Ger-
shorn Mendes Seixas, who served as the minister of the synagogues
in New York City and Philadelphia, and to Haym Salomon
(including his wife’s
ketubah).
Nineteenth Century Collections
Among the 19th century collections of special importance, we
should note the following:
The Rebecca Gratz Papers contain over 600 personal letters
written by Rebecca Gratz and other members of her family, which
give us great insight into the then social and cultural life of
American Jewry.
Included in the Felsenthal Papers is the correspondence of the
early Reform and Zionist American leader, Bernhard Felsenthal,
of Chicago.