ISAACS, JOSEPH (1659–1737), New York pioneer. Colonial records afford only glimpses of Isaacs' career. It is known that he enlisted in the provincial militia in 1691 during King William's War; that as a resident of the North and East Wards of New York City he was made a freeman of the city in 1698; that he was a merchant and a butcher, and that he unsuccessfully petitioned the municipal authorities in 1702 for permission to manufacture rum. In addition Isaacs was a party to numerous lawsuits, including one in which he was charged with possessing illegal weights. The assessment rolls of the city indicate that he was one of its less affluent businessmen, yet he contributed to the building of the Shearith Israel synagogue in 1729–30.