Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States

Mordecai M. NOAH

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Item#: 126697 price:$3,400.00

Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States
Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States
Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States
Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States
Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States

"HIS MOST IMPORTANT WORK… CONTAINS VALUABLE INFORMATION ON EARLY 19TH-CENTURY TUNISIAN JEWRY": MORDECAI NOAH'S TRAVELS IN ENGLAND, FRANCE, SPAIN AND THE BARBARY STATES, 1819 FIRST EDITION

NOAH, Mordecai M. Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States, in the Years 1813-14 and 15. New-York; London: C. Kirk and Mercein; John Miller, 1819. Octavo, contemporary marbled boards rebacked in period style speckled calf-gilt, red morocco spine label, uncut. $3400.

First edition of this fascinating travelogue by Mordecai Manuel Noah, the most prominent Jew in America at the time—U.S. Consul to Tunis, the first American Jew to receive an overseas diplomatic assignment—illustrated with engraved frontispiece portrait and four engraved plates, one folding. An excellent uncut copy in contemporary marbled boards.

One of the early American republic's most influential Jews, Mordecai Noah (1785-1851) was a journalist, editor of New York newspaper The National Advocate, publisher of the New York Enquirer, and a community activist. He held the position of United States Consul to Tunis in 1816, was the sheriff of New York in 1821, the Surveyor of the Port from 1829-33, and a judge of the Court of General Sessions in 1841. He is perhaps most remembered as the originator of the ambitious, though never-realized Ararat Project on Grand Island near Niagara Falls in 1825—a proposed utopian city of refuge for persecuted European Jews.

"In 1813 Noah became U.S. Consul to Tunis. The government hoped that he would be able to forge special ties with influential Jews in North Africa and entrusted him with an additional secret mission: to devise a 'means for the liberation' of 11 captive American seamen in Algiers. Noah's efforts to free American captives were mostly unsuccessful. Only two seamen were released, the ransom paid was excessive, and the secret agent Noah appointed, Richard R. Keene, turned out to have an unsavory past. Although Noah carried out his other consular duties successfully and also established ties with local Tunis Jews, Secretary of State James Monroe recalled him in 1815… In the wake of the recall, Noah published Correspondence and Documents (1816) in his own defense, followed by Travels in England, France, Spain and the Barbary States (1819), his most important book. It describes his experiences abroad and contains valuable information on early 19th-century Tunisian Jewry" (ANB). The appendix includes letters from Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and John Quincy Adams addressed to Noah. Rosenbach, American Jewish Bibliography 205.

Frontispiece and one plate ("Merchant, Slave & Arab") with expertly repaired margins, not affecting image or text. Light foxing to text. A nicely refurbished uncut copy in contemporary marbled boards.

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