Barsimson, Jacob

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BARSIMSON, JACOB , regarded as the earliest Jewish resident of New Amsterdam (later New York). Barsimson probably arrived there on July 8, 1654, aboard the ship Peartree, from Holland, thus preceding the 23 Jews who arrived in September of that year from Brazil. A man of small means, he was taxed below the majority of other New Amsterdam residents. In November 1655 Barsimson joined with Asser *Levy in petitioning for the right held by other inhabitants to stand guard and thus avoid payment of a special tax. The Dutch West India Company overruled Governor Peter Stuyvesant, who had rejected the petition. Barsimson may have returned to Amsterdam in 1659.


Oppenheim, in: A.J. Karp (ed.), The Jewish Experience in America, 1 (1969), 37–50.

[Leo Hershkowitz]