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Lot #162
Moses Seixas

Rare autograph from a Jewish patriot

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Estimate: $1000+
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Rare autograph from a Jewish patriot

Merchant and patriot (1744-1809) who was a member of the distinguished community of Jews in Newport, Rhode Island; he became president of Newport's historic Touro Synagogue and led the congregation's welcome for President George Washington in 1790. Rare manuscript DS, one page, 7.25 x 4, December 18, 1788. Receipt for 17 yards of carpeting to William Channing, endorsed at the conclusion by Seixas, "Received payment in full, Moses Seixas." In fine condition, with intersecting folds and slight bit of foxing.

In 1790, Seixas delivered a letter to President George Washington, which invoked the language of the Revolution in arguing that Jews would be entitled to the same privileges as an American of any other religious denomination. Having been previously 'deprived…of the invaluable rights of free Citizens,' Seixas endeavored to elevate the status of American Jews. The Seixas letter moved President Washington. He responded to that letter on August 21, 1790, assuring the Hebrew congregation that ‘happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my Administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.’ Both of these original letters currently reside at Mt. Vernon.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #531 - Ended July 11, 2018

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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