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Notable pair of issues on the Maryland "Jew Bill" including its passage...



Item # 682691

March 05, 1825

NILES' WEEKLY REGISTER, Baltimore, May 29, 1819 and March 5, 1825

* Maryland Jew Bill w/ passage
* Jewish religion rights
* Jews to hold public office (MD)


A fine pair of issues on the passage of the Maryland "Jew Bill".
May 29, 1819 issue: Certainly the best content 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 as detailed in the paired issue:

March 5, 1825 issue: The most notable content is the page 3 report headed: "Maryland", which states in part: "The legislature of this state adjourned on Saturday last. The 'Jew bill', as it is called--or a bill to alter the constitution so as to relieve persons from political disqualifications on account of their religious opinions, has again passed both branches of the legislature--in the house of delegates by a vote of 26 to 25; only 51 out of 80 members being present. Before it is effective it must be passed by the next succeeding legislature..." (see). That which had been guaranteed for the Jews of Maryland upon Maryland's ratification of the Constitution back in 1788, finally had become a legal reality! Extremely historic.
Also within this issue is the inaugural: "Address Delivered by John Quincy Adams, On being sworn into office as President of the United States on the 4th of March, 1825" which takes over two pages.
Each issue is complete in 16 pages, 6 by 9 1/2 inches, scattered foxing, nice condition.

This newspaper began in 1811 and was a prime source for national political news of the first half of the19th century. As noted in Wikipedia, this title: "...(was) one of the most widely-circulated magazines in the United States...Devoted primarily to politics...considered an important source for the history of the period."

Item from Catalog 311 (released for October, 2021)...

Category: Pre-Civil War