NOAH, M(ORDECAI) M(ANUEL). Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews.

AUCTION 58 | Thursday, May 02nd, 2013 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Printed Books, Manuscripts and Autograph Letters

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Lot 12

NOAH, M(ORDECAI) M(ANUEL). Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews.

With fold-out map of the Holy Land by A. K. Johnston bound in at front. Upper cover inscribed: “…Humphreys Esq. U.S. Consul for Egypt. With the Compliments of a Committee of Israelites.” pp. 55. Foxed. Green wrappers with original front printed cover laid down (small tear at top). 8vo. Singerman 913; Rosenbach 574.

New York: Harper & Brothers 1845

Est: $3,000 - $5,000
<<A PIONEERING WORK PROPAGATING THE ZIONIST IDEA FIFTEEN YEARS PRIOR TO THE BIRTH OF THEODOR HERZL.>> Mordecai Manuel Noah proposes that if the Ottoman Sultan would grant permission for Jews to purchase land in Palestine, then “the whole territory surrounding Jerusalem including Hebron, Safat, Tyre… Beyroot, Jaffa and other ports of the Mediterranean will be occupied by enterprising Jews” (pp. 37-38). He appealed to American Christians: “But, my friends, why not ask yourselves the great and cardinal question, whether it is not your duty to aid in restoring the Chosen People as Jews to their Promised Land?” (p. 28). “Where, I ask, can we commence this great work of regeneration with a better prospect of success than in a free country and a liberal government? Where can we plead the cause of independence for the children of Israel with greater confidence than in the cradle of American liberty?” (p. 10). Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) was probably the most influential Jew in the United States in the early nineteenth century. In this Discourse, he cites supportive letters received from President John Adams and “the illustrious author of the Declaration of Independence” Thomas Jefferson (see preface pp. v-vi.). Noah’s involvement in Jewish affairs was inspired by his belief in the idea of Jewish territorial restoration. He was active in Jewish affairs on behalf of Congregations Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia and Shearith Israel in New York. See EJ, XII, cols. 1198-9 and L. M. Friedman, Pilgrims in a New Land (1948) pp. 240-7. << This Discourse by Noah was selected by the late great historian Prof. Abraham J. Karp as one of the ten most important publications illustrative of the development of American Jewry. @