Jews, Church & Civilization
TimeLine Volume V
from Volume IV
1823 CE: BAVARIAN GOVERNMENT
He owes more than 21 percent of its public debt to Jews.
1823 CE: CZAR ALEXANDER I
Alexander ban Jews from leasing farming lands and even living in small villages. Alexander, afraid the Jews would have undo influence on local peasants, decided to force them to move to larger cities where it would be easier to keep an eye on them
– after Eli Birnbaum
1824 CE: THE FIRST HEBREW CONGREGATION IN THE MID-WEST
January 4: Cincinnati, Ohio
Bene Israel (Sons of Israel) was established at the home of Morris Moses and under the leadership of Joseph Jonas (the first permanent Jewish settler in Ohio). Like other congregations of its kind in the newly settled territories, they waited until there was a quota of ten men and until a Sefer Torah had arrived.
– Eli Birnbaum
1826 CE: JAMES FENIMORE COOPER WRITES THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
–regarded as his masterpiece
The “last of the Mohicans” is Uncas, son of the last chief of the Mohican tribe. The Mohicans are allied with the French against the British in the French and Indian War (a.k.a. the Seven Years War) in 1757.
James Fenimore Cooper himself was born and bred in the NJ–NY area. (b. 1789; d. 1851) He was a Navy midshipman before pursuing writing.
Cooper’s seafaring series Leartherstocking Tales features frontiersman Natty Bumppo.
1826 CE: LAST KNOWN AUTO Da FE
A poor school master was executed for adhering to Judaism. The Auto da Fe execution, accompanied by vitriolic sermons, had served to announce the punishments of those who were deemed guilty by the Inquisition of “backsliding.” Often, but not always, those deemed guilty were burned at the stake (quemadero). It is estimated that tens of thousands of people lost their lives, with hundreds of thousand receiving lesser punishments during the almost 350 years that the Inquisition was in existence.
– Eli Birnbaum
1827 CE: MOSES MONTEFIORE
–makes his first visit to Jerusalem in 1827.
Moses Haim Montefiore (born 1784 in Livorno, Italy) was a successful London businessman when he married Judith Cohen, whose sister was married to Nathan Mayer Rothschild. Montefiore then enjoyed a very successful second career as a financier, stockbroker, philanthropist… and sheriff of London!
After his journey to Israel, Montefiore becomes Orthodox (observant). In 1938 he is knighted by Queen Victoria in Jerusalem, where he builds Jewish neighborhoods outside the Old City, starting with Yemin Moshe with its famous windmill, “Montefiore’s Windmill.”
In 1861, Montefiore founds Jerusalem neighborhood Mishkanot Sha’ananim and the two Knesset Yisrael neighborhoods, among others.
Montefiore died in 1885 at age 100, having voyaged to Israel seven times to personally oversee and advance various endeavors of the budding Jewish homeland. He stands as an iconoclastic figure and quasi folk hero in Jewish lore. He is commemorated affectionately in Israeli music and literature as ha–Sar Montefiore, i.e. Minister Montefiore.
(See also entry 1839 CE)
1827 CE: DAVID (DAVY) STERN CROCKETT
–elected to Congress
Crockett, a celebrated American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier and politician, gets elected to the US House of Representatives, representing Tennessee. He is often referred to as Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.
Born of French–Irish Huguenot stock, Crockett serves in the Texas Revolution and dies in the Battle of the Alamo.
1827 CE: CANTONIST EDICT OF NICHOLAS I
Sept 7: Russia
Czar Nicholas I proclaimed his Statute of Conscription and Military Service which allowed Jewish youths between 12 and 18 to be forcibly conscripted into the army and forced to serve for 25 years. Although drafting of 18 year olds for 25 years or service had been in effect since the seventeenth century, this statute made military service compulsory. A quota was placed on the Jewish community.Often children were simply kidnapped, which was usually done via an agent called a “Chapper” (grabber in Yiddish), who often disregarded the official minimum age of 12 and took children as young as 8 in order to fill their quota. One of Nicholas’ goals was apparently to estrange as many children as possible from the Jewish religion, and he encouraged them to change their names and accept baptism.
1829 CE: BRAILLE
Louis Braille, 18, publishes the first book employing his reading system for the blind
–a system of six raised dots in different combinations and patterns.
Louis Braille had been blind since age 3 (b. 1809; d. 1852)
1829 CE: NEANDERTHAL SKULLS DISCOVERED
The skulls were discovered in Engis, Belgium by Schmerling.
Subsequent proximate “Neanderthal Man” discoveries would take place in Gibralter (1846), and in the Neander Valley near Dusseldorf (August, 1856)
1830 CE: THE MORMONS
Joseph Smith, Jr. (b. 1805; d. 1844) founds the Mormon Church in Fayette, NY.
The Church a.k.a. The Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) is now based in Utah.
Brigham Young (b. 1801; d. 1877) emerged as a central figure, and a highly controversial one. He was president of the movement from 1847 until his death…. Founder of Salt Lake City and first governor of Utah. The centerpiece Mormon university, Brigham Young University was established in 1875… 34,000+ students in 2008.
1831 CE: EMANCIPATION OF JEWS IN JAMAICA
Jews had been present in Jamaica since the time of the British conquest in 1655, yet they were not allowed to vote until this date. Within fifteen years of the “Emancipation,” eight of the 47 members of the House of Assembly (which didn’t meet on Day of Atonement) were Jewish.
– Eli Birnbaum
1832 CE: CANADA
Granted political rights to Jews.
1832 CE: SAMUEL F. B. MORSE
–conceptualizes and starts developing the single–wire telegraph
In his diary, he theorizes about the possibility of transmitting information across great distances using electricity. This theory eventually becomes “Morse Code,” used by the US during WWI.
An accomplished artist, Samuel Morse was a professor of painting and sculpture at City College of New York (CCNY).
1832 CE: JOACHIM LELEWEL
November 3: Poland
A non-Jewish Polish revolutionist and historian, he called on the Jewish people to join in a revolution. He was influenced by Bartlomiej Beniowski, a Jewish Polish revolutionary into calling on Poles to help Jews to establish a homeland in Eretz Israel.
– Eli Birnbaum
1832 CE: CHURCH OF CHRIST (DISCIPLES) ORGANIZED
–Mainline Protestant, breakaway from Presbyterianism
There are approximately 700,000 members in approximately 3,750 congregations in North America.
The parent Presbyterian Church evolved primarily in Scotland before (the Act of Union in) 1707.
1833 CE: ENGLAND
Jews were allowed to be admitted to the Bar. Two years later in 1835 Francis Goldsmid became the first Jewish barrister.
1833 CE: GERMANY: ABRAHAM GEIGER PUBLISHES JUDAISM AND ISLAM
(More on Geiger later)
1833 CE: BRAHMS
–Born in Hamburg, Germany
Johannes Brahms, composer of complex musical constructs of the Romantic Period, is born in Hamburg, Germany, but from age 33 composes and conducts mainly in Vienna, Austria.
His particularly enduring Brahm’s Lullaby was written to celebrate the birth of a friend’s son.
1835 CE: DE TOCQUEVILLE PUBLISHES DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA
Twenty–five–year–old Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville, after nine months of travel across America to study the new democracy on behalf of the French government, issues his report (with fellow researcher, traveler and writer Gustave de Beaumont). Initially the focus was intended to be the American prison system, but the researcher–authors expanded their mandate and examined a wide range of issues and institutions.
Democracy in America, which was published in numerous editions in the 19th century, and eventually in the 20th, emerges as a classic work in political science, social science and history. Among the book’s many astute observations and predictions is that slavery would eventually tear America apart. The book also predicted that the US and the Soviet Union would emerge as rival superpowers.
De Tocqueville observed that in American democracy, the “tyranny of the majority” was always a lurking possibility. However, aside from some marginal issues, that particular threat has rarely seen reality to date.
De Tocqueville felt that transient public opinion and the masses held too much political clout, and would ultimately lower the intellectual level of the country.
The work contains many nuances and prescient observations, which ended up explaining America to Americans themselves.
1835 CE: DAVID SALOMON
Was the first Jew to be elected Sheriff of London. He was a successful banker who led the fight for Jewish equality in England. In 1855 he became Lord Mayor of London.
1835 CE: ABRAHAM GEIGER
–founds the Scientific Journal of Jewish Theology
“German–Jewish theologian, author, and the outstanding leader in the early development of Reform Judaism.
In 1832 Geiger went to Wiesbaden as a rabbi and in 1835 helped to found the Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift für jüdische Theologie (“Scientific Journal of Jewish Theology”), which he then edited. In 1838 he became junior rabbi in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland), where his known Reform leanings aroused Orthodox opposition. Remaining in Breslau until 1863 (he became senior rabbi in 1843), Geiger organized the Reform movement there and wrote some of his most important works, including a translation into German of the works of Judah ben Samuel ha–Levi (1851), considered the greatest Hebrew poet of 12th–century Spain, and Geiger’s own magnum opus, Urschrift und Übersetzungen der Bibel in ihrer Abhängigkeit von der innern Entwicklung des Judentums (1857; “The Original Text and the Translations of the Bible: Their Dependence on the Inner Development of Judaism”). In the latter work, Geiger analyzes the Sadducees and the Pharisees, Jewish sects in whose history he sees a paradigm of a basic idea of Reform Judaism: in some respects, the Jewish religious consciousness grows and changes, and this development is reflected in the succeeding editions and translations of the Bible.
In a series of rabbinical conferences at Brunswick (1844), Frankfurt (1845), and Breslau (1846), Geiger incisively presented other main tenets of Reform Judaism: the necessity of simplifying ritual and of using a liturgy spoken in one’s native tongue; an emphasis on the prophetic teachings as presenting the core of Judaism, a core that will not lose validity with changing time and place, unlike other components of religion; and a de–emphasis on a return to the land of Israel. Geiger’s last years were spent as a rabbi at Frankfurt and at Berlin, where he also lectured at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (“Institute of Jewish Science”), the liberal seminary.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/227807/Abraham–Geiger# (accessed July 1, 2009)
1835 CE: THE FIRST HAKHAM BASHI
–was appointed by Sultan Mahmud II. The title was taken from the words Hakhan (chacham) meaning sage and Bashi meaning head. Ostensibly he served as the chief Rabbi of the Ottoman Empire or of parts of it. Often the Hakham Bashi himself was not sufficiently learned to also serve as a Halachic authority. In addition to religious responsibilities, he was also in charge of collecting government taxes.
– after Eli Birnbaum
1836 CE: SAM COLT
Colt patents the six–shooter gun.
He was 22. (b. 1814; d. 1862)
1836 CE: BATTLE OF THE ALAMO
–between the Republic of Mexico and rebel Texian forces (Feb 23 – Mar 6)
–during the Texian fight for independence from Mexico. “The Texas Revolution.” The battle takes place at the Alamo Mission in San Antonio, Texas.
The 13–day siege ends with the deaths of almost all the defending Texians, but nevertheless becomes legendary, as does the saying “Remember the Alamo!” The Texian revolution goes on to ultimate victory—and secession from Mexico.
…and the Texians become Texans.
1837 CE: QUEEN VICTORIA
Ascended the throne in England. During her reign there was a great increase in the number of Jews settling in England.
1838 CE: REBECCA GRATZ OF PHILADELPHIA
–organizes the first Hebrew Sunday school network.
The network spreads first to Richmond, Charleston, Savannah, Baltimore and New York, and eventually across the entire continent and beyond.
1838 CE: SAMSON RAPHAEL HIRSCH PUBLISHES HOREB
–one of his premier classics, in Oldenberg, Germany.
Judaica Press –
“Horeb is Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s masterful presentation of Jewish laws and observances, with particular emphasis on their underlying ideas. It has proven in many ways to be Hirsch’s most decisive work, representing a milestone in the return to halacha (Jewish law) as the pivot of Jewish life.”
Judaica Press Online, http://www.judaicapress.com/product_info.php?products_id=413&osCsid=175f5c3c6624aa66d208a640c2a6e83f (accessed June 25, 2009)
1839 CE: AMISTAD
–Black slave revolt
“(July 2, 1839), slave rebellion that took place on the slave ship Amistad near the coast of Cuba and had important political and legal repercussions in the American abolition movement. The mutineers were captured and tried in the United States, and a surprising victory for the country’s antislavery forces resulted in 1841 when the U.S. Supreme Court freed the rebels. A committee formed to defend the slaves later developed into the American Missionary Association (incorporated 1846). On July 2, 1839, the Spanish schooner Amistad was sailing from Havana to Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, when the ship’s unwilling passengers, 53 slaves recently abducted from Africa, revolted. Led by Joseph Cinqué, they killed the captain and the cook but spared the life of a Spanish navigator, so that he could sail them home to Sierra Leone. The navigator managed instead to sail the Amistad generally northward. Two months later the U.S. Navy seized the ship off Long Island, New York, and towed it into New London, Connecticut. The mutineers were held in a jail in New Haven, Connecticut, a state in which slavery was legal.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/20842/Amistad–mutiny#ref=ref260463 (accessed July 1, 2009)
1839 CE: FORCED CONVERSION AT MESHED
March 27: Persia
Influenced by other anti-Jewish riots under the Kajar Dynasty in Persia, the local community attacked the Jewish quarter. The synagogue was destroyed, over 30 Jews were killed and the rest of the community was threatened with annihilation. Moslem leaders offered to prevent further riots on condition that the Jews convert, which they ostensibly did. The Jews became known as Jadid al-Islam or New Moslems, thus, in public ending the presence of a Jewish community in Meshed. In secret, however, they continued to practice Judaism, taking whatever opportunities presented themselves to flee the city with their families.
1839 CE: MOSES MONTEFIORE
–calls for a Jewish state in the holy land.
“Jewish philanthropy and the Holy Land were at the center of Montefiore’s interests. He traveled there by carriage and ship seven times, sometimes accompanied by his wife. He visited for the first time in 1827, followed by visits in 1838, 1849, 1855, 1857, 1866, and 1875. He made his last trip at the age of 91.
Montefiore donated large sums of money to promote industry, education and health. Montefiore left an indelible mark on the Jerusalem landscape with the windmill in Yemin Moshe, named after him, which was the first Jewish neighborhood built outside the Old City walls.
The funding came from the estate of an American Jew, Judah Touro, who appointed Montefiore executor of his will. The project, bearing the hallmarks of nineteenth century artisanal revival, aimed to promote productive enterprise in the Yishuv. The builders were brought over from England.
These activities were part of a broader program to enable the Jews of Palestine to become self supporting in anticipation of the establishment of a Jewish homeland. In addition to the windmill (to provide cheap flour to poor Jews), he built a printing press and textile factory, and helped to finance several agricultural colonies. He also attempted to acquire land for Jewish cultivation, but was hampered by Ottoman restrictions on land sale to non–Muslims.”
Wikipedia Online, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_Montefiore (accessed July 31, 2009)
1840 CE: RENOIR, RODIN, AND THE “FRENCH BENCH”
Impressionism flourishes in France.
Some of the luminaries include: Duffy, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, and George Braque.
1840 CE: DAMASCUS BLOOD LIBEL
“Damascus: On February 5, 1840, Franciscan Capuchin friar Father Thomas and his Greek servant were reported missing, never to be seen again. The French consul Ratti Menton presented the case as one of ritual murder of the blood libel type, as the alleged murder occurred before the Jewish Passover. The Turkish governor supported him in this.
The political situation of the time was complex. Syria was ruled by the Egyptian sultan Muhammad Ali. He was supported by France while Austria and Britain had the aim of restoring Ottoman rule and wished to halt the expansion of French influence in the region.
An investigation was staged, and Solomon Negrin, a Jewish barber, confessed under torture and accused other Jews. Two other Jews died under torture, and one [(Moses Abulafia) not the philosopher Abraham Abulafia] converted to Islam to escape torture. More arrests and atrocities followed, culminating in 63 Jewish children being held hostage and mob attacks on Jewish communities throughout the Middle East.
The Christian funeral procession for Father Thomas (without his body) through the streets of Damascus was widely attended. A tombstone was inscribed “Assassinated by the Jews the 5th of February of the year 1840.” The Arabic translation of the tombstone still stands at the Franciscan church in Damascus.”
Wikipedia Online, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_blood_libel (accessed July 1, 2009)
1840 CE: LORD HENRY PALMERSTON
August 11: England
The Foreign Secretary, in a letter to the ambassador in Constantinople wrote: “There exists…among the Jews…a strong notion that the time is approaching when their nation is to return to Palestine…. I instruct…to strongly recommend to the Turkish Government…to encourage the Jews of Europe to return to Palestine.”
– Eli Birnbaum
1841 CE: WEBSTER BECOMES SECRETARY OF STATE
January: Daniel Webster of New Hampshire appointed by President Harrison (elected November 1840) to be US Secretary of State, a position he was reappointed to by President John Tyler, who succeeded Harrison (February 1841) after Harrison died of pneumonia.
Prominent statesman Webster was originally an attorney who served as legal counsel in several cases that established important constitutional precedents which bolstered the authority of the Federal government.
1842 CE: TEMPLE HAR SINAI
America’s first Reform synagogue was established in Baltimore, Maryland.
1843 CE: B’NAI B’RITH (“SONS OF THE COVENANT”)
–founded in NY
The oldest continuously–operating Jewish Service Organization is founded in NYC by Henry Jones and 11 others on October 13, 1843. Worldwide projects via B’nai Brith International include youth organizations AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) and BBG (B’nei Brith Girls) – and through 1990, the formidable Hillel campus operation for Jewish college students.
1843 CE: EITHER/OR
Written in Berlin; published in Copenhagen: Danish philosopher Saren Kierkegaard’s masterpiece published.
Kierkegaard is considered the founder of Christian Existentialism.
(b. May, 1813, Copenhagen; d. November, 1855, Copenhagen)
1844 CE: THE MURDER OF MORMON CHURCH FOUNDER JOSEPH SMITH
–by a mob in Carthage, Illinois
(See 1830 CE: The Mormons entry)
1844 CE: ALEXANDRE DUMAS
–publishes two long–enduring French works, The Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Dumas was born in 1802 Villers–Cotterets, Aisne, France and died 1870 Puys (near Dieppe, Seine–Maritime, France
1844 CE: FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE BORN
Main article: List of works by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Birth of Tragedy (1872)
On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense (1873)
Untimely Meditations (1876)
Human, All Too Human (1878; additions in 1879, 1880)
The Gay Science (1882)
Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883–1885)
Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)
The Case of Wagner (1888)
Twilight of the Idols (1888)
The Antichrist (1888)
Ecce Homo (1888)
Nietzsche contra Wagner (1888)
The Will to Power (unpublished manuscripts edited together by his sister)
b. 1844, Röcken, Lützen, Prussia; d. 1900, Weimer, German Empire
1845 CE: SPIKE
Significant Jewish population spike in Palestine.
The Jewish population in Palestine spurts from about 12,000 in 1845 to 85,000 in 1914.
1845 CE: TEMPLE EMANU–EL OPENS
First reform congregation in New York founded. For a period, it is the largest synagogue in the world. Today it remains a bastion of many New York Jewish social and political luminaries.
1845 CE: SBC
May 8–12: Augusta, Georgia: Southern Baptist Congregation of America founded.
Now the largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the USA.
Originally founded in the south, following a split with the north over slavery, the SBC is now national, with 42 regional conventions, although its center of gravity is still in the South.
1845 CE: THE GREAT (POTATO) FAMINE (IRELAND) COMMENCES
The Great Famine (Irish: An Gorta Mór lit: The Great Hunger) was a period of starvation and disease. The seven–year span 1845–1852 was, as a consequence, a period of mass emigration, much of it to America. Over the span of the famine, the population of Ireland was reduced by 20 to 25 percent. Approximately one million of the population died and a million more emigrated from Ireland’s shores. The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as late blight.
1845 CE: DAVID LEVY YULEE
–elected to the US Senate
Born David Levy on the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean, Yulee studied and practiced law in St. Augustine, Florida, where he subsequently represented the Florida territory. He was elected to the US Senate in 1845, the same year that Florida was admitted to the Union.
In 1846, now a US senator, he officially changed his name to David Levy Yulee, adding on his father’s ancestral Sephardic (Jewish) surname.
Yulee was re–elected to the Senate in 1855 and served until January, 1861, when he withdrew from the office to join the Congress of the Confederacy, as Florida had seceded from the Union.
1847 CE: CAHUENGA
Treaty of Cahuenga, followed by Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, secures American control of California from Mexico. At the same time, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado are carved out of the area and officially become part of the United States.
– after Wikipedia
1847 CE: CHARLOTTE BRONTË, 31, PUBLISHES JANE EYRE
1847 CE: MEYER GUGGENHEIM EMIGRATES
Born in the Jewish ghetto of Lengnau, Switzerland in 1828, 19–year–old Orthodox Jew Meyer Guggenheim arrives in Philadelphia with his small family. Originally a poor peddler of household goods, Meyer and his eventual seven sons segue first into importing lace from Switzerland, then into manufacturing stove polish, then into dealing in lye and, in the meanwhile, still wholesaling the original household goods.
In 1881, Meyer Guggenheim accepts a small interest in two Colorado silver mines in lieu of cash payment for a debt. Step by step he makes inroads in the mining industry in the US and Mexico.
In 1901 Guggenheim and sons gain control of giant American Smelting & Refining (originally founded by William Rockefeller, among others, and currently run by ASARCO).
Half a century later, after WWII, the Guggenheims sell off their mining interests and have subsequently been busy funding sundry architecturally avant garde museums around the world.
1848 CE: THACKERAY WRITES VANITY FAIR
(The book, not the magazine)
William Makepeace Thackeray, an English satirist, writes Vanity Fair, a satirical portrait of English society.
1848 CE: LINA MORGENSTERN
Breslau and Berlin, Germany
Educator and philanthropist. Morgenstern began her work by opening a school for the disadvantaged when she was only 18. She was active in many branches of philanthropy but most of her efforts went into education. She established the first free kitchens in Germany in 1866 as well as a society to help educate and defend the rights of women. She also authored a book on education Das Paradies der Kinderheit.
– Eli Birnbaum
1848 CE: SALANTER
“Salanter” and disciples move from Vilna, Lithuania to Kovno, Lithuania where he founds a yeshiva, over which he presided until 1856.
Rav Yisroel Lipkin (of) Salanter was founder of the Mussar movement (i.e. Ethics to be given the very highest priority) in Orthodox Judaism.
(b. 1809, Zhagory, Lithuania; d. 1883 Konigsberg, German Empire)
1848 CE: ADVANCES IN GERMANY
In every part of Germany, excluding Bavaria, Jews were granted civil rights. As a result, Gabriel Riesser (a Jew and an advocate for Jewish emancipation) was elected vice-president of the Frankfurt Vor Parliament, and became a member of the National Assembly. It must be noted that for the most part, these freedoms existed only on paper and were not fully enforced.
1848 CE: KARL MARX
Born May 5, 1818: Trier, Prussia. German philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, communist and revolutionary (d. 1883)
His ideas are credited for the foundation of (modern) communism.
–Co–founder of Marxism with Engels.
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”
– The Communist Manifesto 1848
Both his parents were originally Jewish, but he kept his distance from all religion which he called the “opium of the people.” He died in London in 1883.
Marx converted to Protestantism as a child. He embraced Lutheran anti–Judaism. Marx’s theories were published under the title Das Kapital in 1867.
1849 CE: DICKENS COMMENCES DAVID COPPERFIELD SERIALIZATION
May: Charles Dickens begins the monthly serialization of his new novel. In the work, the young protagonist David Copperfield (who is the first–person narrator) describes his despair as a young double orphan. His financially–strapped (and generally quite toxic) surviving stepfather forces him to go into severely arduous work in his London shoe–blacking factory. Copperfield eventually runs away – traveling by foot the eighty miles from London to Dover.
The tale is a saga directly out of Dickens’ own desperation–filled childhood, the severity of which he had kept to himself. Even his own children believe that work is essentially fiction. Dickens had written seven novels before David Copperfield and would write seven more after.
1850 CE: ROMAN CATHOLIC IMMIGRATION STRONG
USA: By 1850, Roman Catholics as a percentage of the US population had significantly increased from its tiny minority position at the time of the Revolution and the original Thirteen Colonies to an increasingly significant portion of the population. (The original colonists were overwhelmingly Protestant, as more often than not; they had come to America to flee Catholic persecution in Europe).
As regards the Jews, in particular, the Roman Catholic priests regrettably often brought with them fundamentalist “theological baggage” from Europe, hazardous to the health of the Jewish life in America. For the Jews, by the mid–1800s, with Catholic immigration ascendant, the “ecumenical honeymoon” from the time of the Revolutionary War, would be long gone. Toxicity would seep out of Catholic churches and Catholic schoolyards, and into society at large.
1850 CE: MELEE AT SYNAGOGUE
While Isaac Mayer Wise was serving as Rabbi of the Beth El Synagogue in Albany New York, he asserted in an address to a reform congregation that he did not believe in the coming of the Messiah nor the resurrection of the dead. Members of the Albany synagogue demanded that he be fired, he refused, and congregants forcefully ascended the pulpit. A fistfight broke out which included Wise and the synagogue president. The police had to intervene and close the synagogue. Wise decided to moved to Cincinnati where he founded Congregation Bnai Jeshurun and the first Reform seminary.
– Eli Birnbaum
1850 CE: RICHARD WAGNER
–publishes his first anti–Semitic article Das Judentum in der Musik. The noted composer attacked the Jews, denying the existence of Jewish cultural creativity. He was a strong supporter of political anti–Semitism.
1851 CE: NY TIMES FOUNDED
The current publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., a member of the family (descendants of Adolph Ochs) that has de facto controlled the paper since 1896…
Although controlled by this metropolitan area Jewish family, many in the Jewish community view the Times as habitually leaning over backwards towards the Palestinian perspective in its coverage of the Middle East scene.
1851 CE: AZRIEL HILDESHEIMER
Germany: Rabbi, educator, and leader of Orthodox Jewry. Hildesheimer was one of the few Orthodox rabbis to have both a secular and religious education. After studying Semitics, philosophy, and history he received his doctorate in 1846 from the University of Halle. He served as a Rabbi in Eisenstadt where he was criticized for establishing a school, which also taught secular subjects. Though a strong opponent of the Reform movement, Hildesheimer tried to find common ground between the Reform and Orthodox movements in Hungary but eventually gave up in frustration. Moving to Berlin he became Rabbi of congregation Adass Jisroel and founded the first rabbinical seminary in Germany where he implemented the philosophies of his friend, Samson Rafael Hirsch. Hildesheimer was an active supporter of Jewish life in Eretz Israel and helped improve educational standards there as well as establishing an orphanage in 1879. He was the author of numerous responsa, and edited a new edition of Halachot Gedolot, a halachic code belonging to the Geonic period.
– Eli Birnbaum
1851 CE: HERMAN MELVILLE, 32, WRITES MOBY DICK
1852 CE: MOUNT SINAI HOSPITAL
January 16: New York, USA
The first Jewish Hospital in the United States (originally known as “Jews Hospital of New York”) was founded by a group of mostly German Jewish immigrants. One of its founders was Samson Simson, one of the first Jewish lawyers in New York City who had studied under Aaron Burr. That same year, he also helped found the Beth Hamedrash Hagodal Synagogue (Norfolk Street, Lower East Side, NYC). Other contributors included Samuel Myer Isaacs, who helped found Maimonides College in Philadelphia, and Adolphus Simeon Solomons, who in 1881 helped Clara Barton found the Red Cross.
1854 CE: “THE BLACK SHIPS”
U.S. Commodore Perry’s “Black Ships” force the opening (sort of) of Japan to the West.
Perry sailed into Uraga, Japan harbor in 1853. His superior force enabled him to force Japan to open trade with the USA (as opposed to primarily with just Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese groups).
Perry’s older ships – the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga and Susquehana – had black sails, presumably to mask the black smoke stains from billowing black smoke from their on–board coal fired power plants.
1854 CE: ALFRED LORD TENNYSON WRITES “THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE”
Paragraph 1 of 6:
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Paragraph 6 of 6:
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.
copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,
J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870