Mordecai Manuel Noah - Discourses On The Evidences Of The American Indians Being The Descendants Of Lost Tribes Of Israel (illustrated)
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"Proves American Indians to have been originally Jews, and a part of the lost tribes." -History of Long Island, 1839"Noah being a Jew himself, gives him great advantage from his personal acquaintance with Jewish opinions, ceremonies, and usages." - Select Circulating Library, 1841"Proves that the 'ten lost tribes' were the progenitors of the races and ideas found in the New World." - Western Literary Messenger, 1849"Most interesting." - Viewpoint, 1917"Perhaps the most distinguished Jew of his time in America." -Israel: The Jewish Magazine 1901•Illustrated editionPrior to the 20th Century, it was the opinion of many writers such as James Adair, Elias Boudinot, Timothy R. Jenkins, Thomas Thorowgood, William Penn, and Ethan Smith that the American Indians were descended from the lost tribes of Israel; and this certainly is a very plausible way of accounting for the peopling of the new world, and for some circumstances, such as customs and traditions remarked among its inhabitants.In 1837, Mordecai Manuel Noah published "Discourses on the Evidences of the American Indians Being the Descendants of Lost Tribes of Israel." The fact that Major Noah was a Jew himself, familiar with Jewish customs and practices, gives him perhaps greater credibility than other well-known pre-20th Century writers on this topic.It is supposed that these lost tribes marched from the banks of the Euphrates to the northeast of Asia, some remaining by the way in Tartary and China. From the various parts of Asia it is believed that the more enterprising and persevering went on gradually advancing by degrees to its northeastern extremity, till they arrived at Behring's Straits, where, during the winter, it would be perfectly easy to cross over to the nearest part of the Continent of America, a distance of about than fifty miles.In support of his theory, Noah notes that in the apocryphal book of Esdras, of great antiquity, it is said that “the ten tribes…were carried away prisoners out of their own land, led away captives, and…carried… over the waters, so they came into another land."Noah argues that the following similarities between American Indians and Israelites prove their kinship: 1st, Their belief in one God. 2d, Their computation of time by the ceremonies of the new moon. 3d. Their division of the year into seasons corresponding with the Jewish festivals, of the feast of flowers, the day of atonement, the feast of the tabernacle, and other religious holydays. 4th, The erection of a temple after the manner of the Jews, with an ark of the covenant and altars, 5th, The division of their nation into tribes, with a chief or grand sachem at their head. 6th, Their laws of sacrifices, ablutions, marriages, ceremonies in war and peace, the prohibition of certain food, according to the Mosaic rule, their traditions, history, character, appearance, affinity of their language to the Hebrew.Regarding Jewish temples in the New World, Noah writes: "Take, for example, the description of the temple at Palenque, which Lord Kingsborough, in his travels, not only declares was built by Jews, and is a copy of Solomon's temple, but which, no doubt, is precisely the model of the temple described by Ezekiel."Noah was convinced that their similarities, along with the opinions of other authors such as McKenzie, Bartram, Beltrame, Smith, Penn, Menassah Ben Israel, the Earl of Crawford, Lopez de Gamara, Acosta, Malvenda, Major Long, Boudinot and Catlin, all eminent writers and travellers, all go to prove that the “ten lost tribes” were the progenitors of the races and ideas found in the New World on its discovery by Columbus.About the author: Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785–1851) was a remarkable personality. He was, perhaps, the most distinguished Jew of his time in America. Besides being a diplomat, he was Army Major, lawyer and editor, politician and playwright, and Sheriff of New York.
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