Myers, Samuel

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MYERS, SAMUEL (1755–1836), U.S. merchant. Samuel Myers was the second child of New York silversmith Myer *Myers and his first wife, Elkaleh Myers-Cohen. As a child he worked in his father's silver shop, but soon joined his friend Moses *Myers as a junior partner in Isaac *Moses' import-export firm. A year after the firm's bankruptcy in 1786, Samuel and Moses opened a store in Norfolk, Virginia, but two years later they separated. Samuel moved to Petersburg, Virginia, the first known Jewish resident of the town. His half-brothers moses mears myers and sampson mears myers joined him there, all three becoming tobacco dealers. By 1798, Samuel was active in Richmond, contributing to Congregation Beth Shalome. He settled there permanently by 1803 and played an active role in business and social life as a leading Jewish citizen. Samuel's first wife, Sarah, daughter of Samuel *Judah of New York, died a year after their marriage. In 1796 Samuel and his brother Moses married daughters of the Boston merchant Moses Michael Hays. His second son, gustavus adolphus myers (1801–1869), became Richmond's leading Jew, serving for nearly three decades on the City Council and for 12 years as its president.


Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict; J.W. Rosenbaum, Myer Myers, Goldsmith (1954); H.T. Ezekiel and G. Lichtenstein, History of the Jews of Richmond (1917), index.

[Saul Viener]