Notes for Part II of The Transatlantic Slave Trade Video

From The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews Vol I

Rosenwaike, whose Jewish population studies have been published in the major Jewish historical journals, has recently analyzed the 1971 population studies of Lee Soltow.

Rosenwaike does not dispute Soltow’s startling findings:

Soltow estimates that 36 percent of the 625,000 families in the South in 1830 were slaveholders. Of the 322 household heads identified in the present study as [Jewish] residents of the same states at this enumeration, a considerably larger proportion – 75 percent – were owners of one or more slaves.

Rosenwaike “Even more striking: two-thirds of all the Jewish families in the United States had at least one servant! Jews had clearly achieved a comfortable position in American society .” 180

Nearly all Jews in Newport had Negro domestic slaves… Bartlett, R.I. Census, 1774, shows only two Newport Jewish families without slaves.” “At the time of the Revolution, the Jewish community in Newport comprised but fifty to seventy-five Jewish families, but their wealth and prestige outstripped that of the Jewish community in New York.” 102

The smuggling business boomed after the United States prohibition on imported Africans in 1808 opened a feverish activity in the Mexican gulf area as the price for a Black male soared from $300 to $1,000 in New Orleans. 86

As many as 400 Blacks were sold in a single day and smuggled into New Orleans by Laffite and his agents. His operation was so extensive that he was said to monopolize Louisiana’s import trade and the commerce of the entire Mississippi Valley. By 1812, it was claimed that Jewish pirate Jean Laffite had become the “greatest trader in all the West.” 87

(The) test of the true Southerner was his acceptance of the institution. Southern Jews appear to have had little ambivalence on this score. Rabbi David Einhorn of Baltimore is the only prominent southern Jew who is known to have spoken out against slavery. Others either kept silent or gave wholehearted support to the Southern ideology. Dinnerstein, 121

Jacob Levin of Columbia, South Carolina and Israel I. Jones of Mobile, Alabama were leaders of their Jewish communities and among the biggest dealers of Black people of the mid-nineteenth century. One of the leading auctioneer houses of New Orleans was one operated by Levy Jacobs, who paraded Blacks on the auction block selling slaves bred right in America. 121

Slave owning was a status symbol among Jews, who held slaves in higher proportions than other Southern families – in fact by almost 2 to 1 higher. 480 Three quarters of the Jewish households in Charleston, (South Carolina) and Savannah, Georgia and one third in Baltimore, Maryland held one or more African – the average in Savannah was five – and according to the census of 1820, the average Jewish household nationwide had three slaves. 122

There appeared to be no reason, other than lack of purchase price, for a Jew to be without a Black slave. 484 Even those Jews who review American Jewry of that period prove the wealth of an individual by the number of slaves they held. Some use a high slave count as proof of Jewish industry, diligence and business prowess. 123

Virginia’s Jewry remained and prospered with little resistance from the White Gentile. They were well-respected and became pillars of their local communities. 125

It (Georgia) was the first colony that absolutely prohibited slavery from the very start and it was this feature that most severely affected the settlement. In all other colonies slavery was an established institution and in neighboring South Carolina most of the manual labor was performed by Black slaves. 131

By 1740, only three Jewish families were left in Georgia due to the slave prohibition. They left, according to Marcus, “for the same reasons the others did: Negro slavery was prohibited, the liquor traffic was forbidden.” The Earl of Egmont reported in his diary of 1741, that every one of the Jews were gone [from Savannah, Georgia] and that a Jewish wine maker named Abraham DeLyon, said he left for “the want of Negroes-whereas his white servants cost him more than he was able to afford.” 132

Finally, in October of 1741, the Trustees’ Journal reported that “there are various reports that Negroes had at last been allowed in the Colony, upon which the Jews and… others were preparing to return to the Colony.” It wasn’t until 1749, however, with the “model colony… falling apart,” that the trustees permitted slavery as well as the use of hard liquor and economic life began to flourish. 133

Civil War

“Whatever their status may have been in the South,” noted Lewis Killian, “Jewish Southerners were loyal to the Confederacy and supported slavery with greater unity than their northern coreligionists opposed it.” 158

As was to be expected, the Jewish clergy in the South, without exception, endorsed the Confederacy. These preachers, most of whom were quite recent immigrants from Germany, summoned up great passion in their defense of states’ rights. They repeated the conventional platitudes of that day, that the black race was incapable of taking care of itself, that slavery was a way of discharging the responsibility of whites toward their childlike inferiors… 143, Hertzberg

Rev. J. M. Michelbacher was completely convinced of the justice of Negro slavery, and Rabbi George Jacobs of Richmond, Virginia owned and rented slaves. Rabbi Raphall called those who opposed it “blasphemous.” Rev. A. Grunzberg of Rochester wrote a letter complaining of the “high standing politicians who are very zealous for the half-civilized Negro, [but] so illiberal against our nation.” Rabbis Simon Tuska of Memphis and James K. Gutheirn of New Orleans both defended the enslavement of Blacks to their congregations. Gutheim, the most distinguished of the South’s Jewish clergyman, chose to move his family to the home of his in-laws in Mobile rather than take an oath of allegiance to the United States and the “Dictator of Washington,” Abraham Lincoln. 556 Similarly, Rev. Henry S. Jacobs, who had served Beth Shalome of Richmond for three years (1854-1857) before moving on to Charleston, denounced Rev. Samuel Isaacs of New York for writing an appeal for loyalty to the Union.

All twenty-one Southern Jewish congregations were staunchly Confederate and of those in the North there is no record of any official rebuke of the slave system. 144

Rabbi Bernard Illowy, distinguished leader of Baltimore’s Orthodox Hebrew Congregation, defended the status quo. Though he did not preach secession he did declare his open sympathy for the secessionists and their Negro property rights:

Who can blame our brethren of the South for seceding from a society whose government cannot or will not protect the property, rights and privileges of a great portion of the Union against the encroachments of a majority misguided by some influential, ambitious aspirants and selfish politicians who, under the color of religion and the disguise of philanthropy, have thrown the country into a general state of confusion, and millions into want and poverty? 145

One of the most respected rabbis in America, Max Lilienthal of Cincinnati, “agreed with most of his colleagues that the abolitionists were incendiary radicals who were bringing the nation to the brink of disaster.” Lilienthal delivered an after-the-fact sermon on April 14, 1865, in which he publicly apologized for not having been antislavery until Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. 146

Some rabbis were directly employed by the Confederate Army because “the Confederate Congress was more liberal and tolerant than its Washington counterparts,” regarding the appointment of Jewish chaplains in the army (italics ours). 146

It is now clear, writes Dr. Marcus, “that most antebellum Jews, those in the North as well as in the South, cared little about the moral issues of human bondage.” Jews not only accepted this doctrine, Dr. Bertram Korn admits, but “some of them helped to formulate and circulate it … Those Jews who stood against the institution were scorned and rebuked – most harshly by their own brethren in the synagogue. Even the anti-slavery Jews, opposed the spread of slavery not out of sympathy for the condition of Blacks, but because it was a threat to their jobs. For “Every sensible farmer knew that his laboriously conquered farm land would lose enormously in value if a plantation worked by Negroes could be established on the land adjoining it.”

At its height, the abolitionist movement “was more smoke than real strength.” When it ventured into the political arena as the Liberal Party it received only 65,000 votes out of a total of 2,500,000 ballots cast. 148

Jews sat out this battle over slavery in favor of the status quo resolution. In a weak nod to the edicts of their own religion, some like Louis Stix: 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. 148

No event caused the forces of bondage to rejoice more than when Rabbi Morr is Jacob Raphall of Congregation B’nai Ieshurun in New York issued a sermon that was to become known as the “Bible Defense of Slavery.” On January 4, 1861, he preached the most publicized sermon ever delivered by an American Jew up to that time. Said he:

[I]t 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.

To Rabbi Raphall, slave property was placed under the same protection as any other species of lawful property. Slave ownership was not only lawful but a religious obligation. A Southern rabbi praised Raphall for “the most forceful arguments in justification of the slavery of the African race.” The Southern press played Raphall’s proclamation prominently and often, for one of the “chosen” had cleared the moral obstacle from perpetual slavocracy. The Richmond Daily Dispatch called Raphall’s proslavery doctrine, “the most powerful argument delivered.” The Charleston Mercury hailed his message as “defend[ing] us in one of the most powerful arguments put forth north or south.” After all, writes Friedenberg, “His explanation is clear, plausible, and entirely consistent with the thrust of Hebrew commentary… [and] compares favorably with the proslavery sermons delivered from Christian pulpits.” His speech was so well received that two weeks later he repeated it and raised funds for its issue as a pamphlet. Raphall was made an honorary member of the American Society for Promoting National Unity, a group of pro-slavery Northerners and Southerners whose membership included his co-religionists, Rabbis George Jacobs, James Gutheim and J. Blumenthal.

Einhorn’s eloquent rebuke of the evil institution found no sanction, however, among the Jewish community. Even as the community of abolitionists welcomed him into their ranks, the Jews of his own congregation rejected his uncompromising stand on the issue. 151

The Jewish Record of January 23, 1863:

We know not how to speak in the same breath of the Negro and the Israelite. The very names have startlingly opposite sounds – one representing all that is debased and inferior in the hopeless barbarity and heathenism of six thousand years; the other, the days when Jehovah conferred on our fathers the glorious equality which led the Eternal to converse with them, and allow them to enjoy the communion of angels. Thus the abandoned fanatics insult the choice of God himself, in endeavoring to reverse the inferiority which he stamped on the African, to make him the compeer, even in bondage, of His chosen people. There is no parallel between such races. Humanity from pole to pole would scout such a comparison. The Hebrew was originally free; and the charter of his liberty was inspired by his Creator. The Negro was never free; and his bondage in Africa was simply duplicated in a milder form when he was imported here… The judicious in all the earth agree that to proclaim the African equal to the surrounding races, would be a farce which would lead the civilized conservatism of the world to denounce the outrage. 153

Major Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) was a journalist, judge, playwright, politician and was considered the most distinguished Jewish layman until 1840. He was such a prolific proponent of slaver , that the first Black American periodical, The Freedom’s journal, was launched in response to Noah’s racist propaganda. In 1846, he offered to put up two-thirds of the money to publish a racist newspaper. He actually defended slavery by calling it liberty:

There is liberty under the name of slavery. A field negro has his cottage, his wife, and children, his easy task, his little patch of corn and potatoes, his garden and fruit, which are his revenue and property. The house servant has handsome clothing, his luxurious meals, his admitted privacy, a kind master, and an indulgent and frequently fond mistress.

He argued that “the bonds of society must be kept as they now are” and that “To emancipate the slaves would be to jeopardize the safety of the whole country.” The Freedom’s journal called Noah the Black man’s “bitterest enemy” and William Lloyd Garrison, the leading White abolitionist, called him the “lineal descendant of the monsters who nailed Jesus to the cross.” 155

In Los Angeles, the elections in the fall of 1861 fulfilled the Unionist’s fears as the Secessionists swept to victory. The News (September 6, 1861), appalled at the outcome, turned in anger upon Jewish Democrats:

The Union party has been utterly defeated in this country. Secession and disunion have carried the day and years of repentance cannot wash away the stain … Nearly the whole of the Jewish population of this city voted the secessionist ticket, and we sincerely believe many of them will live to rue the day they did so.

The Jewish community responded by branding the newspaper “anti-Semitic,” drawing from the News an angry rebuke:

It is not denied that nearly the whole of the Jewish population voted the disunion ticket… How strange does it seem then, that foreign born citizens should give their newly acquired vote and influence against the free and liberal government now in existence, and favor the schemes of Davis and his co-conspirators … The charge that we have desired to awaken religious persecution against those of the Jewish faith is false. We mention them because, comprising so large a body of our voting population, they had nearly all voted the disunion ticket. We chronicled the fact and it has not been nor cannot be denied. We advocate the rights of all men under the Constitution and Government of the United States but when the foreign born citizen violates his most solemn oath; when he turns against the Constitution which he has solemnly sworn to support, then he is to be despised.

The religious laws that reflected the superstitions of America’s founders may have had more to do with Blacks and Jews than with the propagation of any religious order … A frequent accusation leveled against the Jewish businessmen was that they encouraged the slaves to steal goods from their plantation masters for sale to the Jews who would then resell the item back to the planter. 205

David Brener: “It was a fact that many colonies had legal restrictions against the Jews, but in reality such laws were generally ignored… Very little of the traditional anti-Jewish medieval legislation took root in British North America, and so there were fewer laws that hampered Jews. The Colonies possessed no feudal heritage, developed no guilds; knew no prohibitions in the purchase of land. The only truly effective barriers here were nature herself, her savage Indians, and man’s own personal incapacity… The Jews could make progress here because there were no bounds to his freedom of movement, his freedom to settle where he wished and marry whom he would. Capital went further in America than in Europe and competition was less keen. Additionally the American Jew’s strong family ties in Europe were a boon to the import and export industry in which they would engage.” 188

Max I. Dimont: At the time of the Revolution, 50 percent of the American people were slaves or indentured servants. But the Jews were neither. They were all free. Though most were shopkeepers and craftsmen, many were manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, and slave traders. They dealt in coffee, sugar, tobacco, and molasses. They paid the same taxes non-Jews paid, and, by and large, suffered no more disabilities than other minorities did. And these disabilities, such as the lack of franchise in some of the colonies, did not affect their other freedoms. Anti-Semitism was almost nonexistent in Colonial America.” 188

Update: Are We Near a Stock Market Top?

12/21

I spoke too soon. The Dow Utilities gapped below key resistance at it’s 200 day moving average. This is a significant divergence from the rest of the markets and could spell trouble ahead. The Utilities topped in mid-November.

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Are We Near a Stock Market Top?

Now I’m going to discuss a topic which I normally don’t, but now I think it’s the time. Following the markets and looking at charts have long been a hobby of mine. Note: if you are not familiar with technical analysis, then you may have difficulty understanding my article.

Stock indices appear to be going parabolic. Housing prices in some parts of the country (notable the Northeast and West coast) have exceeded their 2007 highs. The mania is back. With the Dow Jones Industrials closing in on 25,000, now may be time to ask whether the market has gone too far. Just over eight years ago the Dow Jones was under 7,000 and felt like no end in sight. Today we have the exact opposite situation.

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