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Judah P. Benjamin

AJHS received a cache of more than 100 papers, including 83 letters signed by Judah P. Benjamin, donated to the American Jewish Historical Society after it was discovered in a Newport, RI home. This extraordinary and rare correspondence details financing and plans for the construction of a trans-Mexican railway in the 1850s, a scheme that ultimately failed and was forgotten with the outbreak of the Civil War.

Benjamin, at the time, was a Senator from Louisiana. He would soon become a key figure in the Confederacy, serving as Secretary of War, Secretary of State, and right hand and confidante to President Jefferson Davis.

Please read all about it in the N.Y. Times article, December 31, 2009 by Eve Kahn.

For a biography and information on AJHS' holdings of Benjamin materials, see: http://digital.cjh.org/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=109168

For a rich understanding of Benjamin's life, read Eli N. Evans' Judah P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confederate, The Free Press, 1987.

Judah P. Benjamin portrait, undated

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This section was last updated on July 24, 2014
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