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Philadelphia: Lee & Blanchard, 1849. 1st edition. Original gilt tooled publisher?s cloth, Large 8vo, 508 pages. Includes 2 fold-out maps and 28 engraved plates. Bound in at the rear is a list of publications by the publisher. The personal Copy of Rebecca Gratz, the most famous observant American Jewish woman of the 19th Century, with her ownership signature on title page with year (1849) . Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869) was a preeminent Jewish American educator and philanthropist. Her parents were observant Jews and active members of Philadelphia?s first synagogue, Mikveh Israel. In 1801, at the age of 20, Rebecca Gratz helped establish the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances, which helped women whose families were suffering after the American Revolutionary War. In 1815, after seeing the need for an institution for orphans in Philadelphia, she was among those instrumental in founding the Philadelphia Orphan Asylum. Four years later, she was elected secretary of its Board. She continued to hold this office for forty years. Under Gratz' auspices, a "Hebrew Sunday School" was started in 1838. Gratz became both its superintendent and president and assisted in developing its curriculum, resigning in 1864. Gratz was also one of the founding members of the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, around November 1819. In 1850, she advocated in The Occident, under the signature A Daughter of Israel, the foundation of a Jewish foster home. Her advocacy was largely instrumental in the establishment of such a home in 1855. She was also involved in the foundation of the Fuel Society and the Sewing Society. Gratz is said to have been the model of Rebecca, the daughter of the Jewish merchant Isaac of York, who is the heroine in the novel ?Ivanhoe, ? by Sir Walter Scott. Scott's attention had been drawn to Gratz's character by Washington Irving, who was a close friend of the Gratz family. The claim has been disputed, but it has also been well sustained in an article entitled "The Original of Rebecca in Ivanhoe", which appeared in The Century Magazine, 1882, pp. 679?682. Gratz never married. Her portrait was painted twice by the noted American artist Thomas Sully. One of those portraits, is on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History. Shortly after Rebecca Gratz died in 1869, her brother, Hyman, founded and financed Gratz College, a teachers? college in Philadelphia, in her memory. Gratz is buried at Mikveh Israel Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Very Good Condition. Material signed by Gratz is rare. (AMR-51-2)
      [Bookseller: Dan Wyman Books LLC]
Last Found On: 2016-10-13           Check availability:    


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