American author of a Jewish history; born at Medfield, near Boston, in 1755 or 1756; died at Brookline, Mass., November 15, 1832; one of the earliest women writers of America. She acquired the rudiments of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew from some university students boarding with her father who encouraged her religious and historical studies. She wrote extensively on topics connected with her favorite studies, and though her writings brought her little pecuniary profit, they secured her many distinguished friends, among them the Abbé Grégoire, with whom she carried on a correspondence that formed the nucleus for her "History of the Jews." Among her various works are "A View of Religious Opinions" (1784), of which several American and English editions appeared, the fourth edition under the title "Dictionary of Religions"; "History of New England" (1799); "Evidences of Christianity" (1801); an "Autobiography," and the "History of the Jews from the Destruction of Jerusalem to the Present Time" (Boston, 1812; London, 1818). The last work became popular in Europe and America, and a German edition was printed in two volumes at Leipsic in 1819-20. This history of the Jews after Biblical times was the first issued in America, and it contains, among other interesting features, a great deal of information about the Jews of America that was reproduced by Jost. It is based chiefly on the works of Grégoire, Basnage, Buchanan, and others.

G. A. K.
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