82 181 ECKMAN, JULIUS. Autograph Letter Signed written to Isaac Leeser, in English and few words in Hebrew. In this letter Rabbi Julius Eckman notifies Isaac Leeser of the contents of the charitable bequests in the will of Judah Touro, who had died just one week prior. The amounts specified add up to $105,000. Of the six specified designees,the largest amount was $50,000 to be directed for the Jews in Palestine, followed by $26,000 for the Hebrew Societies in Philadelphia and $20,000 to “Jews’ Hospital” in New York (which today lives on as Mount Sinai Hospital). Of note is a $5000 bequest to the Hebrew Foreign Missionary Society to aid the Jews in China. One page, remnants of paper-clip. 4to. Mobile, AL, 25th January, 5614, -1854. $4000 - $6000 ❧ At the time of his death, Judah Touro’s will constituted the largest charitable bequest ever left by an American. At the end of this letter Eckman writes to Leeser: “This is Mr [Gershom] Kursheedt’s doing, he can congratulate himself.” For it was Gershom Kursheedt who convinced the childless Touro (1775-1854) to leave most of his considerable wealth to Jewish charitable causes. Pulling off this feat of persuasion had not been easy as another letter to Leeser (February 19, 1854) from Kursheedt testifies: “Oh my dear friend, if you knew how I had to work to get that will made and how I strove to serve you, you would pity me. Alas, it was not altogether what I wanted, yet I am thankful to God that even if I injured myself I got the most of what I asked for Israel … Poor good old man [Touro] had noble impulses …some of his notions were good, and to the extent that I can, I will carry them out …” See Bertram W. Korn, A Reappraisal of Judah Touro, in: Jewish Quarterly Review Vol. 45.4 (1955) p. 580. 182 EZEKIEL, JACOB (1812-99). Autograph Letter Signed, written to Isaac Leeser, in English. Concerning the Jews of China, and how the Jews of America can lend them support, both spiritually and financially. Three pages. With autograph address panel. 4to. Richmond, Va., 9th May, 1853. $3000 - $5000 ❧ Roused by a series of articles in The Occident on the Jews of China and their current isolated state, ignorant of even the ability to read Hebrew, and vulnerable to Christian missionaries from Europe, Jacob Ezekiel wrote Leeser this letter. Ezekiel was wholly taken by the topic of the Jews of China, a subject he assumes that Leeser’s “whole soul and mind is at this time imbued with.” Leeser had proposed that one or two men “of vigorous mind and robust constitution” be sent to China where they could make contact with Chinese Jews and teach them Hebrew: “We believe there is a gentleman, now in this country, but we are not permitted to hint even his whereabouts, who would be willing to undertake this errand of mercy, if he were deputed by the Israelites of England and America, to carry the message of good tidings to our brethren… and to devote one or more years to the instruction of adults and children.” (“What Can Be Done?, ” The Occident, March 1, 1854, p. 584.) Ezekiel assures Leeser that there are many Jews willing and able to assist with money, raising awareness and fundraising. Lot 181 Lot 182