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The Jew Bill... Striving for equal rights for the Jews...
Item # 618560
May 29, 1819
NILES' WEEKLY REGISTER, Baltimore, May 29, 1819
* The Jew Bill
* Equal rights for Jews - voting
* Henry Marie Brackenridge speech
Certainly the best content in this issue is full text of the speech presented by of H.M. Brackenridge in the Maryland House of Delegates when the Jew Bill was under consideration. The text of Brackenridge's speech is headed: "Religious Liberty" and has a prefacing paragraph (see) before the full text carries on to take over six pages.
As a bit of history, In 1776 Maryland's constitution safely protected "...all persons professing the Christian religion..." yet said nothing at all for those of other beliefs. it was a fact not widely known among other Americans that in the State of Maryland, and in Maryland alone, a citizen professing the Jewish religion could not hold any office, civil or military. In 1797 Solomon Etting, Baltimore leader and representative Jewish figure, along with other prominent Jews petitioned the Maryland Assembly to address this prejudicial issue and secure equal rights for Jews. The petition was well received but ultimately rejected. Year after year as it was presented and turned down new advocates were enlisted including influential Gentiles. In 1818 Judge H. M. Brackenridge and others began a vigorous battle to right this wrong. The legislation ultimately to be known as "The Jew Bill" was enfranchised in 1825 and confirmed the following year.
Among the other reports in this issue are: "Treaty with Spain" 'The Mohawk Indians" "Colonization Society" and a back page report on Prairie du Chien.
Sixteen pages, 6 1/4 by 9 3/4 inches, very nice condition.
This small size newspaper began in 1811 and was a prime source for national political news of the first half of the19th century. As noted in Wikipedia: "Niles edited and published the Weekly Register until 1836, making it into one of the most widely-circulated magazines in the United States and himself into one of the most influential journalists of his day. Devoted primarily to politics, Niles' Weekly Register is considered an important source for the history of the period."
Category: Pre-Civil War