emigrated from London in 1752 for the purpose of teaching Black people a false version of Christianity while himself, holding
slaves and plantations.
Jacob Ottolengui was
a Charleston Jew who claimed to hold about 1000 Black African men, women and children who worked his rice plantation near
the Savannah River. An 1857 advertisement in the Charleston Courier offered for sale the below listed:
November, aged about 65, a carpenter
Jane, aged 30, a market woman
25, a cook and house servant
Joseph, aged 30, a drayman (horse carriage driver)
Billy, aged 26, a drayman
aged 26, a drayman
The above negros can be seen at my office, 22 Broad street, and treated for at private sale, previous
to the day of sale...
Esther Pachecho of
St. Michael, Barbados, owned and bequeathed "one negro woman named Quasheba & her increase" to her daughter to her &
her heirs "forever."
owned four slaves in 1680 in Barbados.
In May of 1732, he instructed his partner to load their vessel (probably the Albany or the Leghorn) in New York with "choice
flour, bread, pork, pease, tarr, staves and what more else is proper"; to proceed then to Jamaica to sell the cargo and take
"Sugar, Rum, Limejuice, Negros and Cash to the value of about £800"; then on to South Carolina to exchange for rice to then
sail to Lisbon. Ann Evits bequeathed a "negro girl" to him in her will.
Joseph de Palacios
of New Orleans, Louisiana, bought a plantation called Lis Loy near Mobile, Alabama in around 1765 in partnership with two
other Jews, Samuel Israel and Alexander Solomons using three of their Black captives as collateral.
David Pardo of New
York purchased five Africans at a public auction in Curaçao in June of 1701.
Sara Lopez [also
Sarra Lopes] Pardo of New Orleans, owned an African whom she named "Martine."
Moses Petaete was
noted as the owner of a "negro."
Moses H. Penso left
403 slaves including 53 house slaves to his Jewish wife.
Thomas Nunez de Peralta
owned a slave named "Sebastion Domingo," alias "Munguia."
Manuel Bautista Perez
was arrested in Lima in 1639 by the authorities of the Spanish Inquisition. Historian Frederick Bowser wrote that Perez
may well have been the wealthiest merchant in Peru at the time of his arrest and who
certainly dominated the colony's slave trade....At the time of his arrest Perez had accumulated a fortune of close to half
a million pesos and had begun diverting his assets from trade to more gentlemanly pursuits, including silver mines in Huarochiri
and plantations around Lima.
Isaac Pesoa (1762-1809)
of Philadelphia is considered by Jews to be a humanitarian. Although he arranged to have his captives liberated, he reserved
the right to keep them as indentured servants.
(d. 1839) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, held captive four Blacks in 1820 and ten in 1830, according to the United States census.
At the time of his death he held 3 Africans valued at $900.
Jonas Phillips (1736-1803)
was born in Germany and moved to Philadelphia where he was an advocate of religious equality at the Constitutional Convention
while enslaving an African woman named "Phillis." He was a fur trader, auctioneer and Mason and was the first president of
the reorganized Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia.
Isaac Pinheiro (d.
1710); A prominent New York merchant and plantation owner in Charleston, he enslaved at least 14 Black humans including some
who he named "Bastiano," "Andover," "Sharlow," "Tom," "Mingo," "Piero," "Ventura," "Toby," "Peter," "Manuel," "Will," "Jack,"
"Cattoc," "Lewisa," "Doggu," "Fanshow," "Black Sarah," and "Maria." On February 13, 1707, his wife Elizabeth [Esther] purchased
from Lord Cornbury for £40, "a Negro woman called Bastiana." Pinheiro stipulated in his will that no one should disturb his
heirs "from the quiet peaceable possession and enjoyment of the said Negroes."
To my son Moses £100 when 18 years of age and a negro boy....I leave to my sons Jacob
and Moses a certain Plantation...also a cafemill now standing on the Plantation...with 14 negroes...and by a deed of gift
some years past, I gave to my son Jacob and my son Abraham, 7 negroes, 3 of whom are dead and lost by the late French invasion,
and the other 4 are now in my possession....I leave to my wife Elizabeth [Esther] the use of all the above named Plantation
and negroes and mill until my son Moses is of age.
Jorge Homen Pinto
was a Brazilian planter and one of the settlement's wealthiest Jews. He owned nine sugar mills in 1650 with at least 370 Black
Myer Pollack of eighteenth
century Newport, Rhode Island was, according to Jewish historian Max J. Kohler, "heavily interested in the West India trade
in molasses, which was brought from there to Newport, manufactured into rum in the latter place, and exported to Africa, the
vessels commonly returning to the West Indies with slaves."
Solomon Polok was
a member of a prestigious Philadelphia family, and worked as an overseer on a Mobile, Alabama plantation in the late 1830s.
Diogo Dias Querido,
of Amsterdam, was reportedly involved in "large-scale operations on the west coast of Africa," employing 10 ships and "many
smaller ships and boats." He held "several Negro slaves" whom he trained to be interpreters of African languages for his operation.
In 1611, the authorities of the Inquisition charged Querido with instructing the Africans in, and converting them to, Judaism.
B. L. Ramirez owned
Indian slaves and was factotum of his Mexico City synagogue.
Moses Raphael was
a commercial lawyer and owner of a plantation called Esquiline Hill near Columbus, Georgia. Forty-seven Blacks raised peaches
and plums for him in chattel slavery.
Solomon Raphael of
Richmond held Blacks captive named "Pricilla," "Sylvia," and her child "Nelly."
Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall
of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun in New York was America's most prominent rabbi. He gave a sermon on January 4, 1861 which was
used extensively by Jews and Christians in their defense of slavery. Raphall said, in part:
...it remains a fact which cannot be gainsaid that in his own native home, and generally
throughout the world, the unfortunate negro is indeed the meanest of slaves. Much had been said respecting the inferiority
of his intellectual powers, and that no man of his race has ever inscribed his name on the Parthenon of human excellence,
either mental or moral.
Samuel Reese worked
with the notorious Davis brothers in their slave dealings.
Zalma Rehine (1757-1843)
of Richmond, "became the nucleus around which the first Jewish congregation in the state was formed." According to the 1830
census, he owned 2 slaves.
Pedro Gomez Reinal
was granted the exclusive right to import slaves into the colonies by King John IV of Portugal. The contract contained a clause
permitting Gomez to have two Portuguese on his ship who would be in charge of the sale of the Africans and do anything else
necessary "among the people of the sea."
Judith Risson of
Barbados, owned two slaves in 1680.
Jacob Rodriguez Rivera
(1717-1789) was the president of the Newport, Rhode Island's Congregation Jeshuat Israel in 1760, notorious African slave
dealer and was considered to be the second wealthiest Jew behind his son-in-law Aaron Lopez. His diverse connections included
work with the Monsantos of New Orleans as well as with Samuel Moses and Isaac Elizer to outfit slave ships with leg irons
and handcuffs and other hardware of bondage. At his home he had twelve slaves serving six people.
Gaspar de Robles
was born in Portugal and was raised by his aunt and uncle. When he was fourteen:
his uncles, Vicente Enriquez and Gaspar Mendez, took him to Angola, from where they
brought Negroes and transported them to Brazil, Jamaica, and New Spain. While in Angola, his uncles taught him about Judaism
and persuaded him to leave the Christian faith. His uncles taught him...many details of how to live as a Jew.
Ruben Levin Rochelle
was a prominent Louisiana Jew whose estate included "some slaves." There is one recorded sale of an African man in 1807. Dr.
Korn described an incident at the commission brokerage house in New Orleans, operated by Rochelle and Hart Moses Shiff, in
which a slave working there (but owned by a Louisiana judge) had escaped. The judge demanded the slave's return and Rochelle
& Shiff placed the following notice in the Louisiana Gazette of January 18, 1812:
20 Dollars Reward. Absconded from the house of the subscribers, on the night of the
16th inst. a mulatto boy, named Ovid, (the property of Judge A. Trouard, of the German Coast) about 17 years of age, about
five feet high, he had a grey coloured coate, with black velvet collar and plated buttons, a grey waistcoat, white nankeen
pantaloons, and short boots. Whoever will deliver him to the subscribers, or to his owner, or secure him in any Jail, shall
receive a reward of twenty dollars, besides all reasonable charges. Masters of vessels are forewarned from harboring or carrying
off said boy at their peril.
was the leader of of the Veracruz Jewish community. "He was a broker and trader of Negro slaves."
Sam Rothschild; His
Jewish partner, Philip Sartorius, recalled that in 1850, Rothschild:
gambled all our money off and sold [our trading] boat and stock to another flat boat
man for a Negro girl, took her to New Orleans and traded her off for tobacco.
Philip Moses Russell
(c. 1745-1830) held Blacks as slaves in Philadelphia, was a surgeon, merchant and prominent member of his synagogue.
Hyman Samuel, a watch
and clockmaker from London, resettled in Petersburg, Virginia and in 1792, he is listed as the owner "1 negro over 16 years
Francis Salvador (1747-1776)
was born in London to a wealthy Jewish family. In 1773, he left his wife and four children and came to South Carolina where
he owned a 6 or 7 thousand acre indigo plantation with "at least thirty slaves." He was the first Jew to hold a South Carolina
State office and was considered one of "the foremost men of the Commonwealth." In 1776, "Salvador was shot and falling among
the bushes was discovered by the Indians and scalped."
(1830-1913); Between 1853 and 1857 he owned several slaves. He once joined a posse of slave hunters in pursuit of a dozen
Africans who had run from the Jeffries plantation in Jefferson county. When they found the Blacks the 12 bloodhounds severely
attacked them. Sartorius claimed to be repulsed by the sight.
(d. c. 1779) lived in Newport, New York, the West Indies and Georgia where his plantation was absolutely dependent upon the
forced labor of kidnapped Africans. He claimed that he owned just three slaves to tend his 500 acre farm and in 1774 he and
his wife Caty enslaved four Blacks while living in Newport, Rhode Island.
owned plantations in the South where many Black captives were held.
Wolf bar Schemuel
(alias Samuel) was an overseer of "94 Negroes" on the plantation of Stephen Boyd (see above). He complained in an 1820 letter
that, "I had to work in the water...with three Niggers, for a whole month." When he returned to the big house, he wrote: "my
old master and mistress gave me black looks."
Henry Seessel (1822-1911)
was a German Jewish immigrant migrated to New Orleans in about 1843. He went to Memphis as a businessman and bought four Africans
"for our own use," for $3,100.
Abraham Mendes Seixas (1750
or 1751-1799); The brother of the famous colonial New York Jewish leader, Gershom Mendes Seixas, he was typically reprobate
in his attitude about the Black man and woman evidenced by this poem he authored and published in the South Carolina State
Gazette, September 6, 1794 (Seixas rhymes with gracious).
All so gracious,
Once again does offer
His services pure
Money in the coffer.
He has for sale
Some Negroes, male,
Will suit full well grooms.
He has likewise
of their wives
Can make clean, dirty rooms.
For planting too, He has a few
To sell, all for the cash,
Of various price,
work the rice
Or bring them to the lash.
The young ones true,
If that will do
May some be had of him
They may be made,
Or bring them to your trim.
The boatmen great,
Will you elate
They are so brisk and free;
What e'er you
They will obey,
If you buy them from me.
David G. Seixas;
and partner Benjamin S. Spitzer owned three slaves; "a woman who cooked their meals and kept house for them, and two males
who worked in their store." Seixas is reported to have smuggled Africans into the United States after the government ban on
the importation of slaves.
Eleanor Cohen Seixas,
the daughter of Philip Melvin Cohen of Charleston wrote in a diary about her resentment of the
abolition of slavery:
I believe deeply in the institution of slavery [and] regret deeply its being abolished.
I am accustomed to have them wait on me, and I dislike white servants very much.
David and Jacob Senior
were slave "entrepreneurs" who came to Curaçao from Amsterdam in 1685. Jacob and his wife Esther are recorded as having sold
two slaves in Barbados on March 7, 1694 or 1695.
Dr. John de Sequeyra
(1712-1795), a Williamsburg, Virginia physician who treated the governor of that state, held at least 2 Africans as slaves.
He was a leading physician for 50 years.
Simon Vaez de Sevilla
was a 17th century Jewish Mexican slave shipper.
Sheftall Family was
one of the most enterprising Jewish slave dealing operations of Savannah, Georgia. At 27, Benjamin (1692-1765), owned 1,000
acres and nine Africans. In 1756, he claimed to have 2 hostages for his 200 acres though it is probable that he had dozens.
In 1763, he claimed that 5 Black human beings slaved over an additional 50 acres. Benjamin also participated in the family's
slave enterprise. His property was once attacked by the British who carried off some of the Africans to Florida.
In 1766, his brother Levi (d. 1775) reported 9 Black
slaves for his 350 acres and by 1769, he claimed to have 15 slaves and was granted another 300 acres. This is how Jacob Rader
Marcus describes the "indefatigable industry" of Levi Sheftall:
Taking the advice of Captain John Milledge of the Georgia Rangers, Sheftall - then
about eighteen years of age - finally entered into the butcher business with a German Christian partner. In order to acquire
capital, he saved every cent he made, never spending a shilling on himself except for the barest necessities, literally working
day and night, and reducing his sleep to an absolute minimum. In the first year of his partnership he saved £150, working
with a slave - and like a slave. By the early 1760's Levi owned a house, a lot, and six or eight Negroes, and could boast
that in a period of six years he had never spent a penny on himself and had not tasted his first drink till he was twenty.
Then he turned to another business, and the £1,500 he had saved disappeared. In 1768, after a couple of unhappy love affairs,
he married and soon lost his second fortune - through no fault of his own, for he had forfeited it very likely by signing
notes for the family or close friends. Once more he addressed himself to making money. He continued in the butcher business,
opened a tanyard, acquired a wharf, a plantation, and forty-four slaves - all this in four years. Then came the Revolution
and once more Levi lost everything, a fortune he valued at more than £10,000. He was then about thirty-five years of age
The son of Benjamin, Mordecai (1735-1797), enslaved
at least nine Blacks to work his 1000 acres. Three of those he named "Joe," "Anthony" and "Phillis," were disposed of in the
And the said Modicai Sheftall for the considerations herein before mentioned, hath
bargained, sold, and delivered, and by these presents doth bargain, sell, and deliver, unto the said Isaac Dacosta, his heirs,
executors, administrators, and assigns, all those three negroe slaves known by the names of Joe, Anthony, and Phillis, together
with the future issue and increase of Phillis; and also all his estate, right, title, and interest, whatsoever of, in, or
to the before mentioned real estate and every part thereof, and of, in, and to the before named negroe slaves, to have and
to hold the said parcel of six hundred and fifty acres of land, and two town lots hereinbefore mentioned, or intended to be
hereby bargained and sold, and every part thereof, with the appurtenances and also the three before named negroe slaves, together
with the future issue and increase of the female slave, unto the said Isaac Dacosta, his heirs, executors, administrators,
Mordecai also issued warrants against runaway slaves.
Sheftall, while in custody of the British, received a letter from his wife Frances that read in part:
...I am obliged to take in needle work to make a living for my family, so I leave you
to judge what a living that must be. Our Negroes have every one been at the point of death, so that they have been of no use
to me for this six weeks past...
Esther Sheftall (b.
1771) directed the executors of her estate in her will of 1828:
I order and direct that my Negro woman Caty be sold by my Executors at private or public
sale, and the proceeds of the sale to go toward the payment of my debts and the erection of a stone over mine and my late
sister Perla's grave. The surplus if any to be divided between my brothers Sheftall and Moses.
Elias Silva of New
Amsterdam (New York) was charged in 1656 with "having a carnal conversation with a Negress slave."
J. Da Silva of Jamaica
joined two other Jews, J. Adolfus and L. Spyers, in the 1812 attack on a Jamaican assemblyman's house because he advocated
rights for Blacks.
Joseph De Silva a
merchant of the parish of St. Peter, Barbados, "knowing the uncertainty of Humane life" prepared his will dated April 17,
1725 which dispensed "my two niggers Peggy a woman & Gracy a girl."
Joseph Simon (1712-1804)
was a wealthy shopkeeper operating as an Indian trader out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was involved in no less than 12
partnerships in the regional trade and is considered to be one of the first white men to reach the Mississippi from the Pennsylvania
area during the 1740s and 50s.
In 1759, Simon is listed as the owner of "a slave
age 20, one horse and one cattle." By 1763, Simon had "three slaves aged 10, 15 and 20, one horse, two cattle and a tenant."
Ten years later he owned three, ages 12, 30 and 40. He once owned a Black man named John "who had to be chained and thrown
into jail after almost killing a man." Simon eventually sold him at a loss. There is a deed dated December 25, 1793, in which
Simon sold to Christian Barr "a Negro boy named Cudago, age 15, weight 65 pounds, to be held until age 29." Among his correspondence
there is a reference to Simon's sending slaves to Fort Pitt for various people. In 1776, a Philadelphia newspaper ran an ad
seeking to locate "A Negro named John, slave of a Mr. Bogle, of Cumberland County, formerly belonging to Joseph Simon of the
Borough of Lancaster."
Among his varied array of merchandise he sold drugs,
and medicines, silk, wampum, tomahawks, lumber, white indentured servants, "Negroes" for sale or hire, ships, lottery tickets,
and an item of uncertain description listed in one transaction called "Negroe knives." Simon himself is recorded as having
claimed to have a monopoly on such trade in the region.
Simon came under suspicion for aiding the British
war effort during the American Revolution by trading in banned British goods including tea. By the 1780s, Simon and fellow
Jew Michael Gratz of Philadelphia became joint owners of vast tracks of land west of the Susquehanna.
Joseph Simon, described
as a "Confederate veteran" from New Orleans, purchased a slave according to a receipt. Slavery was presumed, however, to have
ended in 1865.
Michael Simon helped
his brother-in-law, Simon Frank, establish a dry goods store in Woodville, Louisiana in 1850, under the name S. Frank &
Company. By 1853, Michael Simon was "sufficiently well off to have bought a small plantation worked by about ten slaves."
of Charleston placed several advertisements for runaway slaves in local papers. In the South-Carolina Gazette and Country
Journal, April 19, 1774:
RUN-AWAY from the subscriber about the 23d day of July last, a negro man named PRINCE,
he is about 30 years of age, 5 feet 5 or 6 inches high, has a blemish in one eye, which was caused by the small-pox; he had
on when he went away, a blue waistcoat, and a pair of light coloured breeches. He was brought up to the blacksmith's business
in New-York. He was seen a few days after he absented himself, with a cart, about five miles from town. Whoever will deliver
said negro man to me in Charles-Town, or to the warden of the work-house, shall receive FIVE POUNDS currency reward, and all
reasonable charges, from Benjamin Simons.
Simons apparently sought "Abraham" in an advertisement
in the South-Carolina Gazette, November 9 to November 16, 1767. The South-Carolina and American General Gazette of April 17
to May 1, 1776:
RUN away about the first of April last, a stout, well made Negro Man named JUNE, formerly
belonging to James Witter of James Island, and used to attend the Market, but was employed in the Ferryboat from Scott's Ferry
in Town; he has been seen in Town, where he is harboured, and on James Island. Ten Pounds Reward will be paid to whoever will
apprehend and deliver him to the Warden of the Workhouse.
Moses Simons was
the nephew of Savannah's Saul Simons. In his will, the elder Simons stipulated that his executors were to hire out four Black
slaves and the total annual income, $200, was to be used to keep young Moses at school.
Samuel Simons (d.
1824) of Charleston, enslaved Africans named "Maria Chapman," "Pompey" and "Peggy." There is some evidence that "Maria," described
as "a free woman of color," was sexually exploited by Simons.
Nathan Simson (d.
1725) was a New York merchant and shipper born in Germany. In 1717 and 1721, two of Simson's ships, the Crown and the New
...sailed into the northern harbor with a total load of 217 Negroes. The shipments
came directly from the African coast, two of the largest slave cargoes to be brought into New York in the first half of the
Sampson Simson "appears
to [have been] the largest trader among New York Jews," and "one of the most prominent members of the New York Chamber of
Commerce." He was one of the drafters of New York's constitution, served repeatedly as a member of its arbitration committee
for grievances of New York merchants, was on its Committee on Regulation of Coinage and its Fishery Committee. According to
historian Myer Isaacs, "He retained in his household several old family servants, some of whom had been slaves..."
In 1798, according to Richmond, Virginia court records, he accused an African woman named "Polly" of stealing two dollars
worth of sugar. She was sentenced to five lashes on her bare back and the branding of her left hand.
Ezekiel Solomon participated
in the 1776 sale of a Black female child in Montreal.
Haym M. Solomon (b.
1740) held as hostage a 10 year old Black child named "Anna."
Henry E. Solomon;
In 1825, he used 6 Black people as collateral on a debt owed to Morton Waring.
Moses Solomon; In
1802, he was Charleston's constable whose job was to punish freedom seeking Blacks.
Myer Solomon of Lancaster,
Pennsylvania "had two houses, two horses, one cattle and one slave."
Victor Souza of New
Orleans skipped out on some debts in 1834 for which four of his African slaves were auctioned. He was caught, tried, convicted
and sent to prison.
Benjamin Solomon Spitzer
of St. Louis, along with Gershom Mendes Seixas, held three slaves who kept their house and ran
their store. Spitzer also invested in the slave ships Nancy and Jane.
L. Spyers of Jamaica
joined two other Jews, J. Da Silva and J. Adolfus in the 1812 attack on a Jamaican assemblyman who advocated equal rights
Emanuel Stern (d.
1828); A Jew from New Orleans who ordered his 12 year old Black child "Mathilda" to be auctioned off after his death. She
was sold for $400 though valued at $250.
Louis Stix, according
to Stanley Feldstein,
expressed sympathy for the plight of blacks but did nothing to promote their liberation.
Though he classified himself as an "outspoken" opponent of all involuntary servitude, he still advocated gradual emancipation
and a government indemnity for "[his] southern neighbors" for their pecuniary losses in parting with their slaves.
A. F. Strauss of
New Orleans was a major dealer in Black and White humans and would advertise the sale of as many as a hundred at a time.
J. L. Tobias purchased
a slave from David Derrick on January 26, 1857. The receipt reads, in part:
I, David Derrick, for and in consideration of the sum of One Thousand and Fifty Dollars
- to me - in hand paid, at and before the sealing and delivery of these Presents, by J. L. Tobias has bargained and sold,
and by these Presents, do bargain, sell, and deliver to the said J. L. Tobias the Negro slave Stephen Warranted Sound to have
and to hold the said Negro slave Stephen unto the said J. L. Tobias his Executors, Administrators, and Assigns, from and against
all persons, shall and will Warrant and forever defend by these Presents.
Joseph Tobias (1745
or 1764-1810) of Charleston, bought a Black woman named "Jenny" from Dr. James Cletherall for $500 on July 23, 1798.
Joseph Tobias (1684-1761)
was a shipowner in Charlestown and president of Beth Elohim synagogue. He was the purchaser of six Black slaves, two men and
four women, "probably all households servants."
Judica Torres, a
Barbadian Jewess, owned two slaves.
Simja De Torres (d.
1746) was a New York slave trader, who imported seven Blacks from Jamaica on at least two recorded occasions in 1728 and 1742.
One of the Africans was a three-year-old child. Another was named "Menasseh Perirei." She was also one of the leading benefactors
of the Mill Street Synagogue (Shearith Israel) in New York City. She left to her nieces Rachel, Rebecca and Sinya, "one negro
Judah Touro (1775-1854)
was born in Newport and became the hazzan (minister) of Yeshuat Israel Synagogue which he bought and renovated. Jewish historians
claim that he was a humanitarian who abhorred slavery to such an extent that he bought slaves just to free them. Contrarily,
wrote Leon Hühner, he bought slaves "to wait on him, or to work in his various enterprises." In 1809, he profited from the
auctioning of 12 African people, and in 1812, advertised rewards for the apprehension of seven Black runaways. He also did
extensive business in merchandise, such as rag clothing, specifically to be used by slaves.
He was "one of the earliest
of prominent American philanthropists," but Jewish historian Morris U. Schappes notes that "Negro institutions and causes,
perhaps needing assistance most, were not among Touro's beneficiaries." As late as 1947, Blacks were not admitted to the hospital
facilities of the Touro Infirmary in New Orleans.