LEVY, ASSER (d. 1681), New York merchant and landowner. Levy was a member of the first group of Jews to arrive in New Amsterdam, in September 1654. In the following years he successfully contested a tax assessed against Jews who were refused the right to serve in the militia and he also achieved for his coreligionists the right to carry on trade in the community. Levy was made a freeman in 1657, and became the most prominent of 17th-century New York Jews. He purchased land in various sections of New York and developed an extensive trade, principally in the city and in the Hudson River Valley, dealing in all types of merchandise. He opened a butcher and tanning shop in New York City in 1678.
J.R. Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict, 88; J.R. Marcus, Early American Jewry, 1 (1951), 30–31; Huehner, in: Karp, ed., Jewish Experience in America, 1 (1969), 51–65.
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