Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Day in History January 24, 1656

As you probably know (if you are familiar with U.S. history), it was not the normal thing for Jews to come to this country in it early days.  Puritans, Pilgrims, and other religious groups were the ones who came here, and most were extremely narrow-minded when it came to welcoming others from different walks of life.  Jacob Lumbrozo was born in Portugal, and on this date in 1656, he established himself in Maryland.  He was a doctor, and this doesn't really seem like something all that extraordinary.  Except that he was a Jew.  While it is pretty certain that Jews were in this country since even before this time, this was the first Jew to be officially documented in his religion.  For at least a decade, he had a lucrative business that was important in the culture of the community.  He did run into some issues in 1658 in regards to his beliefs, and he was put into jail and possibly could have been convicted.  However, he was pardoned, and he went on to live a well-respected life.

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