Henry, Jacob

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HENRY, JACOB (c. 1775–1847), North Carolinian of Bavarian parentage. Henry represented Carteret County in the state's lower chamber in 1808 and 1809, despite constitutional restrictions against non-Protestants. In December 1809, a motion denying him his seat on religious grounds was countered by Henry in an eloquent letter, possibly inspired by Judge John L. Taylor, asserting that "man ought to suffer civil disqualification for what he does… not for what he thinks." Holding that non-Protestants could make the laws, though not interpret or execute them, the House let Henry retain his seat. He later moved to Charleston, South Carolina.


H. Simonhoff, Jewish Notables in America, 17761865 (1956), 137–40; L. Huehner, ajhsp, 16 (1907), 46–52, 68–71; M. Schappes (ed.), Documentary History of the Jews in the United States (1950), 122–5, 597–8.

[Stanley F. Chyet]