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A Portion of the People
First Families This Happy Land · Pledging Allegiance · Palmetto Jews 
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Esther Phillip Moses and Myer Moses

Carolina’s Jewish First Families enjoyed extraordinary economic opportunity, civil rights, and religious freedom. Jewish South Carolinians succeeded in becoming “a portion of the people” to an extent unprecedented in modern Jewish history. Some reached the ranks of the elite and acquired fine houses, silver tea services, and miniature portraits. Others lived more modestly as tradesmen, school teachers, bakers, butchers, and store owners.

Like Jews elsewhere in the colonies, they sided disproportionately with the cause of independence in the American Revolution. Their allegiance is clearly writ in the names they gave their sons: George Washington Harby, Thomas Jefferson Tobias, Benjamin Franklin Moïse, and Andrew Jackson Moses, to name a few.

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Last updated: Friday, January 12, 2024