AMERICAN JEWISH HISTORICAL SOCIETY:
A society organized at New York city, June 7, 1892, at a meeting convened by Cyrus Adler, of Washington, D. C. About forty persons were in attendance; Oscar S. Straus was chosen president, and Cyrus Adler secretary.
The objects of the society are the collection and preservation of material bearing upon the history of Jews in America. It is not sectarian but American, and welcomes all students interested in the work as part of American history. The society meets annually for the transaction of business and the reading of papers. Meetings have been held in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington. Nine volumes of publications had been issued. The articles of 1893-1900 cover a wide range and contain much information and many original documents never before published. Oscar S. Straus, in his presidential addresses, 1892-97, has each year dwelt upon some phase of the history of the Jews in America, and outlined work to be pursued by the members of the society. In 1899 Cyrus Adler was elected president and Oscar S. Straus honorary president. The researches of the members have established the fact that from an early date Jews participated in the social and political life of the American colonies. It is impossible to refer in detail to the subjects treated in the society's publications, but the following may serve to show the general lines on which its society's work has hitherto progressed.
J. H. Hollander and Leon Hühner have shown that in the English and Dutch colonies Jews claimed and were accorded political rights which were denied them by the home governments. Cyrus Adler, in his articles on the Inquisition in Mexico, has described the persecutions of the Holy Office in that country. Incidentally he has shown that Jews were among the early settlers there, and that a number, driven out by persecution, sought refuge, in the seventeenth century, in the Philippine Islands and in England. G. A. Kohut has done a similar service for the Inquisition in South America. Max J. Kohler and A. M. Dyer have made important contributions to the history of the Jewish community of New York, as have Rev. Henry Cohen and Rev. David Philipson to that of the settlement of the Jews in Texas and Ohio respectively. Kayserling has described the colonization of the South American countries by the Jews and the early literary activity of the Jews in Brazil and Surinam. Herbert Friedenwald has portrayed the part played by the Jews in the American Revolution, and added considerably to the knowledge of the settlements in the British West Indies.