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Joseph Simon

Birthdate:
Death: January 24, 1804 (91-92)
Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Simon
Husband of Rose Simon
Father of Hyman Simon; Miriam Gratz; Moses Simon; Belle Myers-Cohen; Meyer Simon and 5 others
Brother of Mary Levy

Managed by: Robin Lent
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Joseph Simon

Joseph Simon (1712–1804) was the leader of the Jewish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania during the eighteenth century, having arrived there around 1740. By 1747, the community had enough men to support a minyan, and religious services were held at Simon's house.

Simon was a successful trader and owned enormous tracts of land in the West; among others, he was a business partner of William Henry—a gunsmith, merchant, and, later, important patriot during the American Revolution. In 1767, Thomas Barton, rector of St. James' Church in Lancaster, described Simon to Sir William Johnson as "a worthy, honest Jew and principal merchant of this place...He is esteemed a main fair in his dealings and honest from Principle."

Simon had two sons and four daughters. His granddaughter, Rebecca Gratz (1781–1869), was reputed to be one of the most beautiful women in America, and Walter Scott may have modeled Rebecca in Ivanhoe on her.

By the time Simon died at age 92 in 1804, the Jewish community in Lancaster was much depleted, having moved, in large part, to Philadelphia.

B. and M. Gratz, Merchants in Philadelphia, 1754–1798 (1916), p. 81.

References

  • David A. Brener, The Jews of Lancaster, Pennsylvania: A Story with Two Beginnings (1979).
  • Sidney M. Fish, Barnard and Michael Gratz: Their Lives and Times (1984).
  • William Pencak, Jews and Gentiles in Early America, 1654–1800 (2005).
  • Oscar Reiss, The Jews in Colonial America (2004).
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Simon_(1712–1804)
  2. http://www.lancasterhistory.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=a...
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Joseph Simon's Timeline

1712
1712
1747
1747
1749
December 21, 1749
1751
1751
1755
July 16, 1755
1757
December 18, 1757
1762
1762
1763
1763
1764
1764
1804
January 24, 1804
Age 92
Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States