The remainder of the letters in this series are from N. Hart. The second letter, dated 9 April 1821, is from N. Hart. It has a London heading and begins Dear Tob. It begins by noting difficulties with the mail between America and England and proceeds to business matters. Additional letters mention such subjects as family matters, such as Tobias’ brother, cotton prices, and watches to Havana and New Orleans, coral beads, silverware, and collecting bills.
This series of letters, seven in all, are written in a fine cursive hand. They provide insight into life and business in America in the beginning of the second decade of the nineteenth century as seen and experienced by early American Jewry. Tobias served on the boards of a number of New York Jewish organizations, including the Society for the Education of Poor Children and Relief of Indigent Persons of the Jewish Persuasion of which he was treasurer. He was a member of Congregation Shearith Israel, where his wife was instrumental in organizing projects for the welfare of the Jewish community.
There are several letters from Mr. A. Joseph. One letter seems to have been written in two directions, the lines crossing each other vertically and horizontally. These letters are personal in content addressing various subjects, among them weddings, pirates the Jews’ Rothschild charity, a woman doctor, the death of poor Bonaparte, Sofia Tobias’ health, high wages and meat prices. Among the entries in one letter (April 11, 1821) are “Rothschild is still the lucky man and all those who are attached to him are fortunate and must make money. Someone has ordered two hundred suits of coats (?) from head to foot for the children in the free school to be paid for out of their own private purse some say it is a christian and others say it is Mr. Rothschild but yet is a secret . . .” there is a discussion of business failures in Amsterdam and then “The Queen is put to rest, and Catholic bill . . . all conversation. Here comes the King going to Ireland.”
One letter is comprised of three duplicate letters, the first from James Kilshame dated 30 March 1821, originating in New Orleans, the original for Louisa Matilda. Mr. Tobias is here referred to as Esq. It is a formal business correspondence, beginning “Sir. Yesterday your draft on Mr. H. Hearland for $634 fell due and was punctually retired but no House of satisfactory responsibility being at the present moment drawers on tither (?) London or Liverpoole are compelled to defer remitting the amount with such paper as we should ourselves be inclined to take, were the funds our own.”
This series is comprised of six letters.