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Commemoration of the Life and Death of William Henry Harrison, being a funeral address delivered on Sabbath, the fifth day of Passover, 5601, April 10, 1841 At the Synagogue Mikveh Israel by Isaac Lesser
Philadelphia: C. Sherman & Co. Printers, 19 St. James Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1841 - Jewish Calendar Year 5601. 15 pages [= 8 leaves]. Isaac Leeser was born in Neunkirchen, Westphalia, Prussia, December 12, 1806, and was orphaned at an early age. He received his secular education at a gymnasium in Munster, and his religious tutelage from Rabbis Benjamin Cohen and Abraham Sutro. At age eighteen, Leeser joined his uncle Zalman Rehine in Richmond, Virginia, where he began to prepare for a business career while simultaneously assisting the local religious functionary, the Reverend Isaac B. Seixas. An article Leeser published in defense of Judaism brought him to public attention and also brought in 1829 an invitation to occupy the pulpit of Philadelphia's congregation Mikveh Israel. During the next forty years Isaac Leeser was the most prolific American Jewish writer and the most creative Jewish communal architect. Though Leeser attained distinction as an author, translator, editor, and a national leader of the American Jewish community, he considered himself, first and foremost, an educator. The first published eulogy for an American president by a Jewish clergyman is this pamphlet issued by Isaac Leeser in 1841. In it he argues that the American presidency is the highest station that human condition can look for, it being attained neither by the accident of birth nor wrested on the field of battle, but conferred "by a free people . [as] the highest honor within their gift." Isaac Leeser, Commemoration of the Life and Death of William Henry Harrison, Philadelphia, 1841. General Collection. Leeser founded and, for a quarter of a century from 1843-68, edited the first Jewish periodical, The Occident. (The Jew, which appeared in 1823-25, was merely a polemical response to a missionary publication.) He organized the first Jewish publication society and edited its publications. He inspired and helped to found a foster home for Jewish children, a Jewish hospital, and a union of charities. One of his many contributions as an American clergyman is the pamphlet, Commemoration of the Life and Death of William Henry Harrison, by Isaac Leeser, Philadelphia, 5601 (1841) Leeser's funeral address is the first published eulogy for a president by a Jewish cleric. One brief section gives an idea of Leeser's democratic sentiments. In the brief sketch we have just furnished of the life and services of General Harrison, it will be perceived that he passed through every stage of promotion, and that he rose from a humble standard-bearer to the chief command of the army and navy, and the presidency of the councils of his native land; and he thus reached a station as high as human ambition can look for; because the voluntary suffrage of a free people raising one of their own fellow-citizens to the highest honor within their gift, is a far more enviable distinction than a throne inherited by a stripling from a royal ancestry, or acquired through violence by an adventurous military chieftain. [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Meir Turner]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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