TOBIAS, ABRAHAM (1793–1856), Charleston businessman and civic leader. Born in Charleston, Tobias received little formal education. He prospered as an auctioneer, vendue master, and commission merchant. He was a director of the Union Bank of South Carolina for 21 years, a member of the City Board of Health (1833–37), and a commissioner of pilotage for Charleston harbor (1838–43). He participated in the turbulent politics of the period as a States Rights Party member, supporting John C. Calhoun's position. As a trustee of Beth Elohim synagogue, of which his great-grandfather, Joseph *Tobias, was a founder (1749), he was a key figure in the 1840s when the congregation split over installing an organ and making other ritual reforms.
B.A. Elzas, The Jews of South Carolina (1905), passim; A. Tarshish, in: ajhsq, 54 (1965), 411–49.
[Thomas J. Tobias]