Medals of Honor in the Civil War

Two Jewish soldiers in the Union Army received the Congressional Medal of Honor for the heroism they showed on this date in 1864 during the four-day Battle of the Wilderness, the first attempt by Ulysses S. Grant to use consolidated forces of the Union to destroy Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Abraham […]

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August 22: The Artist of Manifest Destiny

Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897), a Sephardic Jew born in Charleston, South Carolina, signed up on this date in 1853 to serve as artist and daguerrotypist for John C. Fremont, aka the “Pathfinder,” in his fifth and final expedition through the Rocky Mountains in search of a westward railroad route to California. Carvalho, who had daguerrotype […]

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O My America: The Slave Market

by Lawrence Bush To read two earlier installments of this series on the American South, click here. I’M A TERRIBLE TOURIST, in general, self-conscious, reluctant to plan, intimidated by the unknown, vaguely agoraphobic — and, at all times, a political critic. So when we took a one-hour horse-drawn carriage tour of Charleston this morning, and the […]

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May 17: The Impious Ernestine L. Rose

As reported in William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist paper, on this date in 1850, Ernestine L. Rose was booed at a meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society by a crowd of hecklers led by a Tammany Hall operative, Captain Rynders, who shouted, “I have always respected the presence of ladies, but I doubt very much whether […]

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February 1: The Slavery Debate

Rabbi Morris Raphall, leader of B’nai Jeshurun in New York, became the first Jewish clergyman to open a session of the U.S. House of Representatives with prayer on this date in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War. On January 4th of the following year, however, Raphall published an essay in the New York […]

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