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Nathan

NATHAN

NATHAN , U.S. family. simon nathan (1746–1822), who was born in England, went to the colonies in 1773 by way of Havana. During the Revolution, he supported the revolutionary cause and helped ship supplies to the colonists from Jamaica where he then resided. After leaving the island, he proceeded to New Orleans and from there went to Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1779. He loaned large sums of money to the Virginia state government for which he received the thanks of the then governor, Thomas Jefferson. When these loans were not repaid he suffered great financial loss, and was involved in protracted litigation with Virginia for many years. Possibly as a consequence of this litigation, he went to Philadelphia and enlisted in the militia. There, in 1780, he met and married Grace Mendes Seixas (1752–1831), the daughter of Isaac Mendes *Seixas. Nathan became a Mason the following year, a trustee of the Congregation Mikveh Israel in 1782, and president of

the congregation in the years 1782 and 1783. Soon afterward, he moved to New York, where he served as president of the Congregation Shearith Israel in 1785, 1786, 1794, and 1796. He opened a successful dry goods business with Aaron Pimental, enabling him to contribute sums of money to the synagogue.

Their son seixas (Isaac Mendes) nathan (1785–1852) married his cousin Sara Seixas (1791–1834), daughter of Benjamin Mendes Seixas (1746–1817). They had 15 children. They and their children married into the Lazarus, Lyons, Cardozo, Gomez, and Hendricks families among others. Some of Simon Nathan's descendants include: the noted poetess emma *lazarus; her sister josephine (1846–1910), a noted essayist; the novelist robert *nathan; annie nathan *meyer, founder of Barnard College; maud nathan (1862–1946), suffragette and president of the Consumers' League for 20 years; and benjamin n. *cardozo, member of the United States Supreme Court.

bibliography:

D. de S. Pool, Portraits Etched in Stone (1952).

[Leo Hershkowitz]

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