Sunday, January 02, 2011

Not a fan of Mordecai Manuel Noah.

Someone who was being sued for $100 by M.M. Noah printed the following ad in an 1838 newspaper:

According to him, it was Noah who owed him money. Because of this fact, he then decided to try to settle it. However the writer declined, desiring to take it before a jury so that he can expose Noah as "miserable, worthless, ragged" and "ignorant."

Not-exactly-pro-Jewish references:

1 Rabbi Noah - he wasn't a rabbi.
2 old-clo-man - particularly in England, many poor Jews sold rags and were considered a sort of blight on the landscape. They were known by this term because of their call "Ol' Clo'!"
3 his progenitor Judas Iscariot - no need to elaborate
4 help himself to a $100 slice of pork - "
5 must be "schircumshized a shecond time" before a jury - mocking the accent of German Jewish emigrants. Noah was born in Philadelphia - and a Sephardi. And, of course, the reference to circumcision (or should I say, schircumshizion).

You have to admit, for a bigot the guy had style.


  1. This speaks volumes about New York in 1838.

  2. "The Jew of Grand Island" -- a mocking reference to Noah's famous failed attempt to create a Jewish refuge near Niagara Falls in 1825. The fact that Noah's antagonist could aim such a barb in 1838 indicates that the fiasco had not been forgotten after 13 years.

  3. According to Sarna's biography, Noah was only 1/4 Sephardi. But still, probably no accent.

  4. Thanks Anon. I must have forgotten.



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