80 177 CRESSON, WARDER (1798-1860). Autograph Letter Signed written to Mordecai Manuel Noah, in English. Cresson writes to Noah, a scant four months before his conversion to Judaism, about the Jewish and Christian views of charity, as expounded in Alexander McCaul’s “Old Paths.” He cites Rabbi Yehiel Cohen of Jerusalem, who was something of a mentor of Cresson’s, as thanking him for supplying him with the necessary letter for raising funds in America for famine-stricken Jews of Eretz Israel. Cohen managed to raise the considerable sum of $1850. Cresson opines that the Jewish settlement in Jerusalem, entirely dependent on alms, is the fulfillment of Scriptures, for these poor Jews are “the only Depositaries as all Christians admit of Gods Holy Word.” Cresson also discusses the messianic significance of current events, such as America’s “present war with Mexico,” and various other Milleniarian theories, such as English Milleniarian claims regarding the prophetic significance of the East India Company. Cresson adds a postscript about letters held by rabbis in Tiberias alleging the discovery of the Ten Lost Tribes near Yemen, with an armed force 200,000 strong, and a rumor that a bottle of water from the River Sambatyon had been procured and was being sent to England. Cresson remarks that this river contains “moving volcanic sand casting up large stones 6 days a week but not on the Sabbath.” He concludes by giving Noah permission to edit and publish the letter, but under the pseudonym “Abraham Michael Israel from Jerusalem.” Two densely written pages. A small portion cleanly torn from the lower right corner and is here included. Folio. With typed transcription. Jerusalem, 5th November, 1847. $8000 - $10,000 ❧ AN IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION LETTER. This letter has been discussed by Yaakov Shavit in his Land in the Deep Shadow of Wings and the Redemption of Israel: A Millenarian Document from Jerusalem, 1847, in: Cathedra 50 (1988) p. 98. Warder Cresson was born a Quaker in Philadelphia where he grew to subscribe to a form of Millenarian belief heavily influenced by the proto-Zionist writings of Mordecai Manuel Noah. In an era when European powers were vying for influence in the Holy Land through consular appointments there, Cresson was appointed the first U.S. Consul to Jerusalem in 1844. His commission was recalled by the time he arrived at Jerusalem, but Cresson remained in the holy city, where he grew close to local Jews and formally converted to Judaism in March of 1848. Even before his Jerusalem sojourn, Cresson had been very favorably disposed towards Jews and Judaism. In 1840 he befriended Isaac Leeser, and was soon contributing many articles to Leeser’s Occident, often attacking the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews. In this letter Cresson disputes Alexander McCaul, author of the most notorious missionary book of the 19th century, Netivot Olam - The Old Paths. As we can see, even as Cresson spurned Christianity and adapted Judaism, he retained many of his Milleniarian beliefs. Having effectively abandoned his family for Jerusalem and Judaism, his wife and children were able to have him declared legally insane. Cresson remarried a Sephardic woman in Jerusalem, and lived out his days as a pious Jew in the Oriental tradition. Upon his death, he was buried on the Mount of Olives. See Nir Hasson, Grave of the ‘First American Consul’ in Jerusalem Uncovered, Ha’aretz, October 6th, 2013. 178 DE LA MOTTA, JACOB (d. 1845). Autograph Manuscript. Sermon: Bevo kol Yisrael… / When all Israel is come… (Deuteronomy 31:11-13). Written in Hebrew and English. Hebrew in square Hebrew characters and English in cursive script. 39 pages, stained, final page torn. Unbound. 4to. Charleston, 1832. $2000 - $3000 ❧ “The Following Discourse was Delivered in the Year 1832 Before the Congregation Beth Elohim of Charleston, in their Synagogue, by Jacob De La Motta, M.D. their President or Parnass” (written on first page in another hand). A native of Savannah, Dr. Jacob de la Motta was a physician and pharmacist, with far-reaching interests in politics, natural history and philosophy. He also acted as Reader of Charleston’s Congregation Beth Elohim for several years. In 1820, de la Motta delivered a Discourse at the consecration of Savannah’s synagogue which was later published and copies sent to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. See C. Reznikoff, The Jews of Charleston (1950), pp. 86-88. Lot 177 Lot 178