85 187 HAYS, MOSES MICHAEL (1739-1805). Autograph Letter Signed written to Myer Polock on behalf of Michael Gratz. Strongly worded letter in which Hays urges Polock to comply with a promise to Michael Gratz and offers a carrot to temper the stick. Hays says he will assist him in “any matter Honorable & Just” if he does. One page. With autograph address panel on verso. 4to. New York, 18th December, 1770. $3000 - $5000 ❧ Moses Michael Hays, a friend of Paul Revere, was a prominent 18th century Bostonian Jew. While living in Newport, RI in 1776, Hays, though a patriot, refused to sign a declaration of loyalty to the cause of the American Revolution because he felt he had been singled out as for questionable loyalty simply for being a Jew. Persuasively pointing out ways in which he had been discriminated against in matters of voting, he prevailed in his argument and was not forced to sign. Myer Polock (d. 1779) was Hays’ former business partner. Polock was in fact a Tory. He declined to sign the aforementioned loyalty oath on religious grounds, but in the end was forced to. Michael Gratz (1740-1811) of Philadelphia an eminent American patriot, was widely-known as a Colonial American Jew. On the loyalty oath in Newport, see Oscar Reiss, The Jews in Colonial America (2003) pp. 53-4. 188 HENRY, HENRY A. (1800-71). Autograph Letter Signed written to Isaac Leeser, in English and Hebrew. This lengthy letter is Henry’s response to a local news item which appeared in The Occident Vol. 8:6, September 1850, pp. 316-17. In the piece, Henry is said to be leaving Cincinnati for a hazzan position in Louisville. The Occident essentially accused Henry of having conspired with the Cincinnati congregation B’nai Jeshurun to depose its hazzan James K. Gutheim. The Occident recommends that synagogues undertake periodic elections, and in this way the confidence or lack of confidence can be registered, rather than summarily firing a faithful spiritual leader. Henry, responding to Leeser many months later, denies these facts and gives his reasons for not having written sooner to defend himself. In the first, he picturesquely quotes “the Royal Bard,” “I am all peace; but when I speak, they are for war” (Psalm 120:7) and suggests that had he replied sooner he would have had to implicate certain individuals for whom he would rather dwell “in amity than in enmity.” Henry subsequently alludes to troubles in Leeser’s own congregation and piously pronounces that he “did not wish to worry [Leeser], but rather to deal charitably with you.” The rest of the letter is a very detailed account and defense of the procurement of his pulpits. Henry also details and criticizes the ritual sins of others who officiate as hazzan/ ministers. Henry extends his hand in peace to Leeser, subscribing to his Occident, suggesting that they meet in person in the fall, and indicates that he has enclosed a prospectus for his “Class Book, ” and requests that Leeser include a notice of it in his journal. He concludes by asking for a reply if he is worthy, and if not, then he will “rest content” that he has fulfilled “the Holy Torah, ” namely Leviticus 19:17’s commandment to chastise. Seven pages, stained, with short tears. Tall folio. Cincinnati, 12th June, 5611, -1851. $1500 - $2000 ❧ H. A. Henry was born in London, where he was educated at the Jews’ Free School, and later became its principal. Ordained by Rabbi Solomon Hirschel, he also served as minister in the St. Alban’s Synagogue. In the United States he held positions in Cincinnati, Louisville, New York and finally, from 1857, in Sherith Israel in San Francisco. Henry was thus a rabbinic pioneer in California. Lot 188 Lot 187