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7. EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS:
FARMERS, ARTISANS AND MERCHANTS (cont'd)

Jews in Early New York

 

Bill of Lading

The first Jews—Spanish and Portuguese refugees who had lived in the Netherlands and Brazil—entered New Netherland in 1654. Later, German-speaking Jews from Continental Europe joined them. Under the intensely anti-Semitic governorship of Peter Stuyvesant, Jews living in the colony were restricted in what employment they could pursue, where they could dwell, and how they could observe their faith. They possessed little protection and few freedoms in a colony where legal rights for non-Protestants were nearly non-existent. With the coming of English rule, they enjoyed more freedoms.


Moses LevyAbigail Levy Franks

 

During the colonial period, the Jewish population in New York was small but influential. The merchant and real estate investor Moses Levy, two of his relatives, and Adolph Philipse jointly owned a ship named the Abigail. Its trading trips to and from the West Indies yielded enormous financial success.

 

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