“It is historical fact, however, that Lincoln was very much a friend of the Jews, and he was much loved by the Jewish community, both in his day and after his death. There is even some reason to believe that Lincoln himself had Jewish forebears. In Illinois, Abraham Jonas, the first Jewish settler west of the Allegheny Mountains, served in the Illinois legislature with Lincoln and was, in Lincoln’s words, his ‘most valued friend.’ Louis Dembitz Brandeis, a Jew from Kentucky, was a Lincoln delegate to the 1860 Republican Convention and was reportedly the first to vote to nominate Lincoln for president. As president, Lincoln appointed the first Jew to serve as a foreign consul. More important, Lincoln was the first and only president to revoke an official U.S. act of anti-Semitism, canceling Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s order barring Jewish peddlers from selling to Union troops. In Washington, one of Lincoln’s best friends was Isachar Zacharie, a Jewish doctor from England who treated him and became his friend. His photographer, Samuel Alschuler, was Jewish. And, according to the Rosewater Family papers donated to the American Jewish Archives, Edward Rosewater, while serving as a telegrapher in the War Department in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War, came to know Lincoln, who would often come to Rosewater to dictate and receive communications. It was Rosewater who dispatched the Emancipation Proclamation to the world.
Even more intriguing was the claim that Rabbi Isaac M. Wise, author of the Union Prayer Book and founder of Hebrew Union College, delivered in his funeral address for Lincoln in Cincinnati in 1865: ‘Brethren, the lamented Abraham Lincoln believed himself to be bone from our bone and flesh from our flesh. He supposed himself to be a descendant of Hebrew parentage. He said so in my presence. And, indeed, he preserved numerous features of the Hebrew race, both in countenance and character.’ Lincoln, really Jewish? There are some tantalizing clues. He was named Abraham, for his grandfather, Abraham, who died when Lincoln’s own father was quite young; his paternal great-great-grandfather was named Mordecai, as was his uncle. Their last name derives from the city from which they emigrated, Lincoln in England (many Jews adopted as family names the city they hailed from). The city of Lincoln, it is interesting to note, is famous for being home to one of England’s oldest and most important Jewish communities, as well as for saving its Jews during the 12th century Crusader riots. However, Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert denied that his family was of Jewish ancestry, saying that his father was merely jesting when he spoke with Rabbi Wise.
Still, it is not so hard to believe that Lincoln, who never professed a faith other than citing the Ten Commandments in Exodus, saw himself as a descendant of Jewish tradition, for where did his sense of justice and fairness come from if not from Mosaic law, or his belief that a mere amendment to the Constitution would do more than an army to win a war?” – http://www.jewishjournal.com
“The Melungeon DNA Surname Project by Dr. Elizabeth Hirschman and Dr. Donald Panther Yates state that Abraham Lincoln was of Jewish ancestry. Dr. Hirschman writes ‘The DNA sample we have came from a Berry male from Tennessee whose ancestors had arrived in Virginia. The marriage of Abraham Lincoln’s parents was performed in the home of a Berry (and not a church) suggesting that not only the Lincolns, but also the Berry’s were of Jewish descent. We believe that many of the very earliest settlers who came to North America from England were actually Sephardic Jews.’ ” – http://www.melungeons.com
* Web Master – Even thought the word “Jewish” was used above in the two source citation, keep in mind it is really “Hebrew”.
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