tv Abraham Lincoln and the Jewish Community CSPAN July 10, 2016 4:32pm-6:01pm EDT
mr. johnson may have felt confident machinists had rejected the settlement and the engines of five major airlines across the country remained cold. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] next on american history tv, rabbi gary zola talks about his book, "we called lincolni abraham lincoln and american jewry, a , documentary history". at the cottage zola explores , lincoln's relationship with prominent jews and the jewish community's involvement with civil war politics. the national archives hosted this 90-minute event. jim: a document in our records of rights exhibit, which you
would have passed, the exhibit on your way in tonight, marks an that markscument in an episode when president abraham lincoln directly interceded for american jews. generale document is ulysses grant's december 1862 general order to expel jews from the department of tennessee. grant blamed jews for smuggling and demanded their immediate removal. jewish citizens of paducah, kentucky appealed to president lincoln, expressing their outrage, and lincoln countermanded grant's order. histories cannot be written without the primary sources that tell us authentically what happened at a particular time. grant's order to expel jews and his later revocation of that order documents preserved here
in the national archives, testify to a moment in history that many in the wider public are not aware of, yet it cannot be forgotten, because the records exist to tell us so. by gathering together and publishing the documents in his volume, dr. zola has given access to a large number of primary source documents that president -- present and future scholars can mine in the course of their research. david winefield, writing a review in the journal of illinois state historical society, called zola's annotated collection of primary sources a highly accessible narrative, and historian erik thorner declared "everyone interested in lincoln and the civil war, students, scholars, and lovers of history alike owe gary zola a debt of thanks for compiling this fascinating book."
to lead us into tonight's conversation about "we called him rabbi abraham," i am going to turn to laura apelbaum. laura has been the executive director of the jewish historical society of greater washington and the small is he him for the past 22 years. the museum is a steward for the historic 1886 out of israel synagogue on eighth street and under laura's leadership has played a growing role in presenting the important role of the jewish community in metropolitan d.c. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome laura cohen apelbaum. [applause] laura: thank you, jim, for that terrific introduction and for
talking so much about dr. zola's book, which is a fantastic read. on the pages of the book that brings us here tonight, you will encounter several jewish communal leaders that walked the streets just outside of what is now the national archives. acar car zachary, -- iz zachary solomon and simon wolf , each had interactions with president lincoln detailed in dr. zola's new book. they were among the 2,000 jewish residents of the nation's capital during the civil war. a burgeoning community of immigrants whose experiences were very similar to the jews acclimating to their adaptive countries described in the first chapter. lincoln sent his chiropodist zachary, to judah benjamin secretly to discuss peace negotiations. this is documented with the primary source material in dr.
zola's research for the first time, and david mckenzie, who was on our staff at the time, went into the confederate states of america papers at gary's request to find the document that you will find in the book. they strategize about around the corner in sixth and 10th in pennsylvania, in adolpho solomon's bookshop served as the -- which served as the salon for intellectuals in the city. among the open issues was whether a rabbi could serve as a military chaplain. a young lawyer, simon wolf, later president of washington hebrew congregation successfully , pleaded clemency from president lincoln for a jewish soldier who had gone awol to visit his mother's death bed. after the war, wolf and solomon invited their president, ulysses first ofto attend the the synagogue, therefore making
grant the first president to attend a synagogue service. perhaps in atonement for general orders number 11 that jim talked about. our organization proudly preserves this special schul, which is going to be moved twice before we move it to the adjacent museum. you with your new stories about that museum. on behalf of the directors i want to thank the archivists and staff here at the national archives, especially susan clifton for partnering again with us, our fifth year of jewish heritage month. -- jewish american heritage month. i want to thank the donors who make the visit possible. dr. smith, and dr. sandra wilson. i also want to acknowledge the presence of our president, russell smith. dr. zola is also an ordained rabbi, and his presence has led to a roomful of esteemed clergy. rabbi bruce lustig, rabbi pezner
of the religious action center and rabbi donald berlin, rabbi emeritus of temple ohev shalom in baltimore. gary zola is executive director of the jacob rader marcus center of the american jewish archives and is the edward m. ackerman family distinguished professor of the american jewish experience and reform jewish history at hebrew union college jewish institute of religion in cincinnati. the haa is the world's largest -- aja is the world's largest freestanding research center dedicated solely to the study of the american jewish experience . dr. zola has written extensively and lectured on a vast array of topics on the american jewish experience and just returned from teaching in israel.
he is served on nationally important commissions to celebrate a few hundred 50th anniversary of jewish life in america as well as the lincoln bicentennial commission. he has been a force behind the national steering committee for jewish-american heritage month. internationally, he serves on the u.s. commission for the preservation of american heritage abroad. dr. zola will be joined in conversation by erin carlson mast. erin is the executive director of president lincoln's cottage where her work includes , everything from historical research to site development to cure ration of award-winning exhibitions. curation of-- award-winning exhibitions. for those who have not been, you are missing out. it's a great site where lincoln had his summer retreat and drafted the emancipation proclamation. and the book is incredibly timely. it introduces to the public abraham lincoln's little-known
immigration policies. it is now my pleasure to invite dr. gary zola and erin carlson mast to the stage. [applause] erin: thank you, laura. thank you, jim. thank you all for joining us here tonight and thank you especially, dr. zola for being here. gary: pleasure. erin: as jim mentioned in his opening remarks, primary sources are essential for historians. and in fact, it was the primary resource documents that led to the title of your book. can you please tell us about that? gary: well, i can. let's begin. i am going to see if this works. if we turn on the powerpoint, it will be a prolegomon for my answer to your question. ♪
[video clip] >> ♪ we are coming father abram 300,000 more, from mississippi and from the new england shore. we leave our workshops our wives and children dear we with principle of utterance gary: so the title of this book, is, as you can see we , called him rabbi abraham. the purpose of the book in a broad sense is to try to answer that question is how exactly did , that happen? this on you just heard is a very famous civil war song. it was apparently written by a prominent abolitionist by the
name of gibbons and became well known after lincoln called for additional recruits to help defeat the rebels in 1862. and lincoln became known by this terminology, father abraham. so the whole military or many in the military were referring to him as father abraham, and my question was is, how did he become known as rabbi abraham? and that came from really this really remarkable document, and i usually use this as the sock ager,, the-- sockdol dramatic conclusion, but we'll start right off with it. the person you are looking at is actually the uncle of supreme court justice brandeis, and in fact, some of you know that
his middle initial was louis d. brandeism and that's because he took his uncle's name to honor him. so when i was looking at eulogies, i went to louisville and i saw in the secular press the entirety of brandeis -- of dembitz -- he was a delegate at the 1860 presidential convention , and they let him give the eulogy in 1865, and it was reproduced on the newspaper, in the newspaper, and when i read the opening lines, i couldn't believe my eyes. this is what it said. he opens his eulogy with the words, "friends, you often called him, jocosely" -- a $25
word for humorously-- you often called him jocosely "rabbi," as if he were one of our nation, one of the seed of israel but in , truth, you might have called him abraham the child of our father abraham, for indeed of all the israelites throughout the united states, there was none who was more thoroughly fitted to the ideal of what a descendant of abraham ought to be than abraham lincoln." this tommy right away that the nation might have been referring to has just taught me right away that the nation might have been referring to him as father lincoln, the jews at least in louisville, kentucky, and i suspect elsewhere, were already referring to him as rabbi. my question was why? erin: so you had that question. there are so many volumes written on abraham lincoln. he is by far one of the most
written about human beings in human history, and you have found the unicorn. you have found new material to bring to light. what inspired you to write the is book? and what were some of the stories you found and what was maybe the most surprising? gary: well, i'll tell you what brought me to write the book is not quite as noble, but i'll tell you and then i'll get to , some of the good documents i -- that i found. i was involved in helping the nation to celebrate the 350th anniversary of jewish life in this country, and i had just become the director of the american jewish archives, and i was motivated to do this because my predecessor, the distinguished scholar, historian, writer jacob rader marcus, was very involved in the celebration of the tercentenary 50 years earlier, so i was just following in his footsteps,
hoping in a small way to live up to what he would have wanted me to do. after that experience, frankly i , had an opportunity to meet many wonderful people here at the national archives. i met people at the library of congress. i enjoyed the experience, and i was involved in a commission related to this experience, and someone on the commission said, "are you going to be on the lincoln commission?" and i said, "i don't know a thing about it." so they said, "well, you should be on it, zola. it is a very interesting story about lincoln and the jews." i asked, "how do you get involved in it?" and they said just write to your governor and ask to be appointed. and i happened to know the governor of ohio, and i asked and i was appointed, lo and behold, there i was. at the first meeting of his academic advisory council, suddenly i found myself in a
room with people like doris kearns goodwin and many of the scholars who were writing books on lincoln at the time, and people were introducing themselves one to the other and finally it comes to me. and i am thinking, oh my gosh, what am i going to say? because i don't know a thing, really, about lincoln? and i and i had not planned to , write anything at all. i mean i did come from illinois , but i didn't think that was , going to impress them. [applause] [laughter] gary: so i just mustered every bit of courage i could and i said, "my name is gary zola. i direct the american jewish archives." i told them where it was, and i said i plan to do everything i , can to teach the american jewish community about the story of abraham lincoln and the jews, which was all sincere and true. but in the teaching, erin, once i got involved and had to prepare, that's when i discovered there was a whole
story that i wasn't aware of even though i did know a little bit about lincoln and the jews, some of the more famous episodes, and i wanted to retell that story. and capture it. i realized it had been 60 years really since anybody had written seriously on lincoln and the jews. so let me tell you if i can, -- erin: i would love to. gary: -- one of the famous documents. you already heard i think, jim, maybe laura talked about this fellow. this is abraham lincoln's chiropodist, his podiatrist. but don't mock him. this man was not just trimming lincoln's toenails. he was a remarkable human being. came here from england and probably was able to meet lincoln because he was a very capable podiatrist, and he was able to give some of the high military echelon some comfort in
their feet, and they kept recommending him higher and higher. in fact, take a look. here he finally gets to treat lincoln's feet, and there you have a real document from the chapelle foundation where you see "dr. zacharie has operated on my feet with great success -- and considerable addition to my comfort." by the way, the important thing is the date on that. you know, that is september 22, and i make mention of that in the book. you know, that's the date, the emancipation proclamation -- the preliminary emancipation proclamation was issued. so you wonder, you know, what was lincoln's day like? amazing. [laughter] gary: but nevertheless now, to , go on, i think laura did mention this, and that is that zacharie was really a person of
some caliber, and there are many documents which will demonstrate and prove -- i've reproduced many of them in the book -- that lincoln took him seriously. he was a thoughtful person and he had ideas, and lincoln and seward and stanton, all had regard for this man. he was not a buffoon. erin: right. gary: he was ambitious, and he could be a little bit of a sycophant, but he was an intelligent man. and as some know, throughout the course of the war, there was an ongoing discussion of whether or not we should try negotiate a peace with the south and bring the bloodshed to an end, or whether there should be unconditional victory. and as some people who study lincoln know, this is something that seemed he dabbled with this , and every time the opportunity
, came to negotiate, he would eventually back away from it. but apparently, i can't tell the whole story, because i, we'll get to only a small area if i get too involved in every story, but he, zacharie, actually arranges for a meeting with the brains of the south, judah p. benjamin. and although we have always known that there was a desire for these two people to meet, there was never any concrete evidence, any documentary evidence that the two had actually met and discussed the peace plan, a peace plan. erin: right. gary: and you're looking at right now an image from the library of congress. this is the actual document which david mckenzie -- i don't know. is david in the room? if he is not, laura introduced
him to me, and i tried to offer suggestions, and of course the secret is the letter, is where buried someplace where it shouldn't have been, and probably because i was a bad researcher, i sent him to the wrong area and ended up finding this letter. but as you can see, i will blow up this one area, i can't read it from where i am sitting but i can tell you essentially of what it says. in the context of the letter he is -- says "i shall go to washington and i shall meet with lincoln, and i shall tell lincoln that there will be no petition for peace by the south." then he goes on to say, i'm going to try to talk sense into lincoln on your behalf and tell him to negotiate peace. and he says, in the last little area i've blown up he says, i cannot explain, i don't know what brought us together ultimately, but maybe it will be some good. it's all reproduced in the book. a remarkable document. there are two examples of
wonderful documents that i found. and by the way, i want to give credit to the southern illinois university press for publishing the book the way it appears. if people enjoy it, then it's their credit, not mine. because when i submitted the manuscript originally, erin i , submitted it as a narrative history with just some documents in the back and an appendix, which was standard. and they said to me, we will consider publishing your work. there's a lot of new material. but we want to recommend that you do it in a different way. every chapter, write about a 10 to 15-page narrative, followed by documents that are illuminated, meaning, by that i mean headnotes. , and to tell you the truth, that was a lot more work than i had anticipated. i thought i was done, and now i had to go back and really reorganize it.
and i probably, to tell you the truth, probably wouldn't have done it had i known how much work it was ultimately going to be, but i, in my mind, i thought ok, this isn't going so hard. , i'll just separate what i was doing and bring the documents to the back of the chapters, blah, blah. anyway, it took a lot longer, but if you like it, then it is to their credit because it was their idea to say, make it very broad in its usage. make it so that people who just want to read the narrative can read the first 15 pages of every chapter. they don't have to worry about the documents. but others who really want to see the documents that you uncovered, go ahead and put those in the back of each chapter and illuminate them, put footnotes on them, so that is how it happened. erin: it's so much more satisfying than just footnotes because you actually can dive , into the source documents. i'm glad they talked you into doing it that way. well you gave a couple of
, examples of lincoln's interactions with jewish americans. abraham lincoln was the first president to regularly interact with jews prior to arriving to at the white house. the influx of immigrants creates -- there was a major shift in demographics that made that possible, right? gary: that's right. erin: so what made these immigrants more likely to be involved in politics, because that also impact in politics as well? gary: it's been generally agreed by scholars that abraham lincoln probably, when he was getting ready to run for senate or to be, he wanted to be chosen to be senator and, by the legislature, and ultimately when he ran for president, probably knew more jews than all of his 15 predecessors put together. but as my teacher and colleague, professor jonathan sarna says, when he was a boy, probably the
only jews he knew were those in the bible. and so the question is, what happened between those 50 years? and in dr. sarna's book, i'm stealing a page just to show you what a generous scholar i am as i'm promoting his book, too, there's a whole page in which you have a description of all the different jews that lincoln knew, including those who were distant connections and those who were really in an inner circle. and the answer to your question, erin, has to do with immigration. erin: right. gary: you are looking at the good old midwest, what was called in those days the northwest territory, or in the early part of the 19th century, and this was the period that if you stop and think about it in , lincoln was born in 1809, there were no major urban areas in any of this part of the world. think about cincinnati, think
about st. louis, think about chicago, these places were either nonexistent or barely existent. by of course midcentury cincinnati, ohio, as an example, , becomes the fifth largest urban area in the united states of america. so this is a part of the nation which explodes. and what scholars, not myself , but others have shown is that huge numbers of immigrants came. many from central europe. from german extraction or what would be the german states, and austria and the alsace region, and these immigrants who came and settled here, at some point, 70% 80% of all those who , were moving at some point in the 1840's and the 1860's were from abroad. in that crowd were german jews. or tony of the germans, be correct, those who came from
what would become germany, what ultimately would become germany, the german states -- both non-jews and jews together, many of them who came here had been , had been very involved in the liberal revolutions in europe and had been disappointed by the reactionary responses and the failures of these revolutions. so when they come over here, they're already primed, many of them, for these new and liberal ideas of the north. that isn't to say, we have to remember that some of those same people went down into the south , and some of those people settled down there and some some of those people became slave holders. but be that as it may, that's true, many of these people who settled in this part of the country, become very active in politics, very active in community affairs. very concerned about the welfare of society and abolition, even though they may not have been formally abolitionists.
but the disdain for slavery was important to them. and the last thing i'll say, and then we can go on, is that no hope to have brought communal support, national support, not middle regional support, would be able to do so by affecting the corners because there was no else who would vote for this. this is a huge part of the population. lincoln, among others, he was not the only one, lincoln was probably very much shaped by the fact that he was used to hear people who did not speak english perfectly, he's different people who had different customs. i think that it is logical that he would become accustomed to adjust to thatld kind of a reality. that played a role in his peer.
the kind of man he was. he bought ahat german linguistic newspaper. we know he was trying to see directly to the language. yet a different attitude than those in the know nothing party. mr. zola: as you know, i will show you a slide of his buddy, abraham jonas. in the bookchange ever produced where jonas tells the 1840's, may be early 1850's, but he has been accused of being a member of the do nothing party. ,hat is the anti-foreign initiative. and lincoln is appalled. there is a back-and-forth with that. , i don't wanthat
to make lincoln sound dismissive and utilitarian uniquely meaning that is the only reason he took these positions was because he had presidential ambitions. i think that was the kind of human being he was. i'm proud to say that i like to think that as a young man, as he grew up, look at the other examples of this in a minute. as you are used to seeing people who don't speak like you do who are not accustomed to the way things are done in that part of the country who are obviously different, they have different backgrounds, different cultures, this i think will incline some othersto be more open as want to close down. >> let's talk about the jonas family. illustrates, they what was happening to many american families during the civil war. they were a divided family. mr. zola: that is right.
>> and the unique relationship abraham lincoln had with ibrahim jonas. as you will see here, when he lived in springfield, it is coincidental that as he arrived at quite a distinguished point in his career, this is a very point when jews begin to move into springfield and become business people in the city of springfield. lincoln becomes friends with many of them. we know this am the documents. here is a man who was one of the founders of the hebrew congregation in springfield which took shape in the early 1850's. haberdasher and there's definite evidence that some of lincoln's boots were bought from him. he was also a friend of the family, of course mary taught
family to the inauguration of 1860. lincoln also meant a law that people will traveling around on the eighth circuit. and above the store to it does it was the store that belonged to manning henry right. henry wright. apparently like him enough, lincoln did to endorse general mcclellan. sutler.ppointed a that is a patronage position that gives a person opportunity to provide the military with goods and services and if you have those sutler buttons or coins, that enable you to do that, that is like the way being track.nment you have a special into a large audience. to a large audience.
i took this picture myself. i was so happy to meet him even though he was very quiet. andd read all about him then i want to think of to speak and i was able to actually visit his grave. there's a lot of material on him. place called in a aighton,illinois -- illinois. from those of you on the east for those of you who will mispronounce it it is not pronounced like athens. he is buried in springfield but he had a store. here's a picture of the store. he bought the famous post office
s anding which was in athen lincoln had been there many times. to go on the internet come i think he will to be able to see " athenlook up solvingsteen" there is still a barrier in the building. lincoln liked him so much that whenever he came third happens came through athens, he stopped by. go see where abraham lincoln slept, you have to get .o athens, illinois now it will talk to you about the jonas brothers. [laughter] here are the real jonas brothers. [laughter] you are looking at those of jonas and abraham jonas.
, is a very famous and important person in cincinnati, ohio. the first jew be in cincinnati, ohio. we know today from evidence that he was not. [laughter] but he lived to be very old and he wrote his memoir. all of us involved in the preservation of documents, this is an important lesson because if you preserve your own record and outlive everyone else, it entitles you to perhaps a whatever you would like. [laughter] he brought his brother ibrahim jonas over hillary they came from plymouth, england. here and they came from limit, england. -- plymouth, england.
these two boys married the s of a rabbi of the historic card vision in new york. the two girls came to cincinnati and i don't want anybody to generalize about this, but i will tell you, this is unkind, but they all died in cincinnati. don't generalize. [laughter] they died young. joseph and abraham both remarried. abraham was unhappy and left his brother. he went first to kentucky and then he went to a city in illinois called quincy. in quincy he ran into a young man who had also just become a lawyer and that young man was another abraham and this is probably have lincoln looked when he met abraham jonas back in that day.
these two men become very good friends and i think the story leading up to this is that abraham jonas, who had about five or six children, some of them did fight for the south and some of them fight -- fought for the north former supporters. one of his sons was in jail, had been captured, and just to show you the kind of loyalty that incoln had to his friends -- pretty much have a whole chapter on this. it is impossible to do this briefly. all i can tell you is that abraham jonas was not simply a peripheral friend of lincoln. jonastwo people, abraham were not only very friends, they were political allies. jonas played a role in getting his career started. party at the way to
the same time -- whig party and are involved in starting the republican party. jonas clearly played a role in maneuvering the nomination so that lincoln could be considered and abraham lincoln did not forget his friend. inas is dying of cancer 1864, lincoln had appointed him postmaster general of quincy them up with was a patronage position. family is dying, his appeals to lincoln and asks lincoln if he will let a son who to go for the confederacy up and visit his father. his son makes it there a day and a half or so before the father passes away. the family never forgot what lincoln did. if that was not enough, lincoln appoints the widow to take over
her husband's position. this is, of course, you don't need to see this, but this is a letter that lincoln writes long before the incident i described it out on the line where lincoln says to him in a letter you are one of my most valued friends and anyone who studied him lincoln knows that lincoln weighed his words very carefully. he was not a schmoozer. [laughter] lincoln really, i think this was probably one of his closest friends who is jewish. theways wanted to know why lincoln-douglas debates in quincy. was not until i studied this book that i realized, it was because of jonas. and broughtthere
the debate there among other places. let's see if i have anything else to tell you -- >> you have to tell us -- mr. zola: you will like the story. the things that had to explain in the book, i try to explain that in addition to everything else, lincoln had remarkable human qualities. we know that from some of the things we read. obviously, he just had a way of, he knew how to deal with people. but that was when he had to do with people who are not like him. man, a bavarian to come to the united states and integrates with others. he decides he was to be a photographer. urbanales in champaign, and he hears in 1857 that a famous lawyer, abraham lincoln is coming to town. lincoln shows up and he has the
gumption to walk up to him and say, mr. lincoln, i would like you to come over to my shop so i can take a picture of you. lincoln did not know this man from anything. he did not know him at all. i can imagine that he spoke with an accent. days, you have these two pictures that might appear in a press or someplace. the last thing you would want someone to take a bad picture and have that used. >> lincoln would have a sense of humor about that. [laughter] mr. zola: apparently he goes over there, he does not wasted time. he brings a colleague with him. thank god he brought a colleague that the name of cunningham. cunningham would later write about the incident. this picture that i'm showing you now is a re-creation of the incident. what happened him he shows up at the shop and he is wearing his
famous white mock code. coat.psets -- this upsets the photography. he says, would you please go back to the hotel and put your dark coat on and lincoln says he does not happen. he does not want to miss that. what mr. lincoln be willing to wear mine? he says, ok. lincoln decides to put on the coat but nobody thought in advance that he was 5'6" and lincoln was 6'4". coat,incoln puts on the and but us like this. -- it looked just like this. [laughter] lincoln could not stop laughing. he thinks this is so funny. he would get under the curtain to take a picture, like it would start laughing.
you can't take a picture in those days. you had to sit still. which is one of the recent people don't smile. the movement of the chicks can blur the picture. could lead the t -- blur the picture. lincoln does not walk out, eventually they take a picture. this is the famous picture. there are people who say if you look at lincoln, the corner of lincoln'sips, -- lips, you can see if he is trying to not laugh. the last thing i will show you, i love this particular story. this is abraham telling. cohen. he is a well-known figure in
american jewish history. he wrote a lot of memoirs about his life. of thethe president hebrew congregation in chicago. more importantly, family can, he is the city, clerk of the city of chicago. he is a democrat. not a republican. they are introduced and daughter, -- kohn's daughter, he is able to sleep him off his feet and they discussed the hebrew bible. lincoln always used to say that he was not highly educated and a few things he knew, he only knew limited things. but that which he knew he had read again and again in the hebrew bible was one such thing. thisently he persuaded
past president of a contradiction that he had an appreciation for the hebrew bible. according to the doctor, -- becomes, the democrat a supporter of abraham lincoln. one leg and was the election and is about to washington, people are sending to springfield presidents -- present to the president. draws on some of those colorized version on the flag and on the bars and stripes he writes the hebrew versus from the first chapter of the book of joshua. strong and courageous, be not afraid, be not dismayed for the lord is with you wherever you go. i actually found a glass negative in this purchase may
purtusn chicago -- s museum in chicago. that is all that is left of the flag. the flight we know hung in the white house according to a secretary who wrote a thank you letter. it has disappeared. me, it symbolizes, again, lincoln had this winning way to reach outity and communicate the views that he had an appreciation and openness for them. >> even if they were political adversaries. mr. zola: even if. >> he understood that they were all individuals and we have heard about general orders number 11. ; agentsbook, you offer for what might have happened, including a theory that might have involved france's father.
i have, here is probably the only time you'll that i'm notsay sure if i agree with this doctor. he generally knows a heck of a lot more about me than everything. if you have not read it, you should read his wonderful book which was featured here in one of his lectures. it is common read expelled the grant-- called "when expelled the jews." this, we may have to go back to it. grant, we know that other generals are having these problems with profiteers.
people who would go into the south, by contin or other products -- buy cotton or other products and bring them back to the north and make profits. and enriching people in the south. story, as ireat doubt it is true. it is that his father, his grandfather with two jewish is named the mac brothers from cincinnati, they go down to holly springs and they talk the father into persuading the general into giving them permission to go and do this. according to him, if i was at what he is breaking, -- has risen, rant is so inflamed and angry, he knows this is been a problem with profiteers and here are these two jewish kids who have enlisted his father's help
to try and persuade him, they are so angry that he can't take it out on his sons and so instead, he takes it out on these jewish businessmen and he projects the jews. the jews.ow -- ejects i done a. i will say the letter -- i don't know. i will show you the letter. i'm grateful for the archives for giving me a facsimile of this document. i have pasted it together. i will say the key phrases -- show you the key phrases. class.s as a having violated all the department orders, are expelled and have 24 hours in which to leave. i think the secret might be, this is my theory, might be in the words the jews, as a class.
words, i, in other wonder how confused the language peddler, jewiteer, peddler, to profiteer, if you stop and think about, for example, in the south, how so many people will say things like i got a good bargain on this, i will jew you down on that. for the jew, this is an appalling term. i have personally met so many people who have no idea that .hey are using the word jew they may think they are using -e-w.they may not understand. another example. somebody would say when you are a little boy, i have been
chipped. it is only until you are made aware of the fact that you are making a slur referring to gypsies. theory, i'm wondering how blurred the identity between jewish peddlers, jewish profiteers, the jews as a class. in other words he does not say that the jews, men women and children, he does not say the entire community, he says the jews, as a class. i'm wondering, this is my question, and his blurred mind at this time, and later grateful , if i had thought about that for a minute and would not have written that. if that is true, it seems to me that that is at least as possible as the idea that he was angry at these two jews
forgetting his father involved. there are some of you stories about how to explain it. it is almost inextricable insult -- inexplicable. it is the only time in american history that jews were banished. if it were not for clinton -- lincoln, this man is the great hero of the story. this is steve from paducah. a german immigrant. i like to tell people, where all the mighty jewish communities are situated. if it were not for the juice of paducah, kentucky, god knows where we would be. he is a businessman. he is not a property. profiteer at all. he decides he will act on it and he throws all the jews of paducah out. men, women and children.
but on a boat and sent out to cincinnati, ohio. he gets off the boat and says he went to see the famous rabbi. he says don't worry, my boy, i will take this up and we will have a national protest. he is not satisfied with that. train and a characters and he is in washington in two weeks on january the third. 1863. two days after the amalgamation proclamation. he sees abraham aiken and he shows lincoln his expulsion orders which he has carried all this way which he has shown to newspaper reporters all along the way which is how we have recruited all this. is important. people doubt it is true? mr. zola: lincoln says he does not believe it. he shows up at and the famous exchange, the one thing in the book i tried hard to document that i can't find the source.
it is such a good story. sometimes you have to tell the story even if you can't document it. says toy goes that he lincoln, here is my expulsion orders and when lincoln sees it in black and white, he looks at him and says so i'm given to understand that the children of israel have been expelled from the happy land of kings. then he says that is correct, mr. president. which is why we have come to bosom foraham's protection. everyone says that protection you will have. he revokes the order and i'm showing you a document featuring an important washington, d c view. i will blow up the document. headnds a telegram to the
st. louis and says the following , this is the most important part. general,st seen the lincoln turns to the congressman and says take this to general how it tomorrow -- haleck tomorrow. the document says, just seen his general halleck. revoked general clarence -- grant's while order. y it was received. it took a while before was fully revoked. the point being, lincoln's heroism is that he sees the injustice and he revokes the
order and becomes famous for doing that. >> let's go back to the chaplain. one of the few instances in which the specificity of it being christian cause of the problem. lincoln asked congress for a bill to raise the volunteer army for each state. the present will includes a provision for commanders to appoint military chaplains of some christian denomination. mr. zola: jews had already begun enlisting. this becomes immigration. the jewish newspapers take it up. becomes a huge to do. in new york, there's an organization which has just recently come into existence and these -- this board decides it will take up the mission and try to persuade abraham, a want
lincoln to change the order by executive the out -- executive action. they send this man to washington, d.c.. this is 1861. this is in december. fischel goes to washington. they put him in a hotel. he shows up and decides he's going to wait in line. he says front of him, how long have you been here? the man retorts, this is my third day waiting to see the president. fischel does on a what it will be. then somebody says, where is the rabbi? they break into the office and he says he is unprepared and suddenly finds himself sitting in front of lincoln.
he pulls himself together and go through all the documents, he makes his case and says, he says, he his boss, he asked lincoln to change the order. lincoln says i'm what to think about it. give me an opportunity. back tomorrow and i will see tomorrow and give you my answer. when he comes back the next day, lincoln is not there. he's not available. he is worried that he has got the bum's rush. he got back to his hotel room. several days past to get on the what to do. he goes to new york or return home, they are paying for the hotel room. then he receives a telegram which you later and unfortunately, was so happy to receive a telegram that he wrote the actual wording of the telegram into the letter that he sends to new york to the people who paid his way and if he had not done that, we might not have known what was in the telegram because the telegram itself apparently is lost.
just a little section of it as you can see, i underlined the most important parts. he says lincoln will not do this single-handedly, i want to work to get congress to revamp the law entirely. i'm to change the long caucus. he does succeed in doing. it takes five months. scenes worked behind the to make sure this happened. he is not passive. he's very active in seeing that it takes place. again, he sees a militaryf chaplaincy that only christians are able to serve as people. it is under lincoln that the first jewish chaplain in the united states is appointed. these items that we are talking
lincoln's presidential accompaniments -- ,ccomplishments with the jews these are achievements, action lincoln will take that into your jews and make him a larger-than-life figure to the contemporaries. -- his contemporaries. >> that continues and elton his legacy. on your dedication page, you have one of my favorite quotes. the struggle today is not altogether for today, does burbach future also. -- spur back future also. the way america treated its jews would be a barometer of liberty for the nation's future. can you speak to lincoln's legacy and how it has grown over time? legacy, letncoln's
me skip ahead. lincoln's legacy begins with the assassinated,s meaning his memorial. how is memorialized. this was to me overwhelming when i began to read in both the german and english sermons and eulogies. what was so astonishing, everyone knows that he was eulogized all over the country, but i cannot help but see again lincoln wasw constantly being jew dies -- zed.a they were transforming him into a jew.
and his german eulogy he says, lincoln) was not flesh of our flesh, he was. of our spirit and essence of our essence. his soul and heart, his entire nature, his burning love for all which is good, for his country, for freedom, for community and the ways in which he exclaimed the lofty ideas and try to bring them close to everyone's understanding are all truly judaic and in truly jewish spirit. criedcinnati ohio, he when they hand him the notice on shabbat morning during passover that lincoln has been murdered. he cries on the pulpit and can't go on. when he finally close until together, he begins with the words from scripture. he says, a great man in israel
has fallen. and then i like to say, and some of my distinguished colleagues, we are sad to say that nobody can outdo our sainted founder when it comes to blarney. isaac will forever change history when he gets up. this is the same man, i put out, does not like lincoln. months beforefive the eulogy, he refers to lincoln as an idiot. [laughter] when he is eulogized, but what he said. and, the lamented abraham lincoln believed himself to be bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. he supposed himself to be a descendent of hebrew parentage. he said so in my presence. [laughter]
and indeed, he preserved numerous features of the hebrew phrase both incontinence and character. [laughter] which is a course ridiculous because it lincoln did not have red hair. [laughter] >> i love it. a mother of an is redhead. she can appreciate that. some people say, you are only quoting reform rabbis. the true orthodox rabbis would not have said this. that is not true. they did not read my whole book. schechter, a great president of the two at the logical seminary was in love with abraham lincoln. he referred to him as the greatest man of all time. in his presidential address, when he except the presidential -- presidency of the jhs, he writes a whole article comparing
it to look into another rabbi. birthday, noth less than bernard revel, founding president and great leader of the shiva university, he gave a whole address of honoring lincoln on his birthday. i'm quoting that address. he says it lincoln can justly be called the first typical american he can more justly be said to represent the summation of all the noblest qualities in judaism. this to me goes on and on and continues to the present day. it is to me unbelievable. torybody embraces and wants find a piece of like an, but i think that what is remarkable is that there is this tendency tong jews to want lincoln
actually be one of them. this almost as if remarkable human being, there has to be some jewish thread sewn into the fabric. [laughter] it is not just that we admire him, we want to show how he represents certain ideas, it is , as if to say, he has to have his name, everything about him, his beard, he has to be one of us. [laughter] that is what some of the people have said. this goes on, if you don't and look ongo home in internet and just type lincoln and jew and you will come across different sites trying to prove that lincoln literally, could very well have
been a descendent of the jewish people. [laughter] i'm not just mocking that. i see that as a lesson. demonstration of what i try to argue in this book which is simply stated, even as lincoln americanize as the jews, judaising lincoln. >> thank you so much. we will move to questions and answers. [applause] there are microphones on either side of the auditorium. the lineup behind them and we will start right here with you. i'm a college student here in and yourngton dc area, book is one of the most interesting books on this topic
that i have read. for me, one of the most meaningful aspects of your book was a story about lincoln storks the young jewish -- soldier who went to visit his mother. i'mthing i'm wondering, wondering what your thoughts are about this, i'm wondering whether part of what motivated president lincoln to martyn this young jewish soldier was his memories of his own mother dying ? lincoln's on mothers died and i'm wondering if you think it is possible that lincoln's own childhood experience as a child inspired him or motivated him in some way to make the decision to pardon this young jewish soldier? mr. zola: thank you for the kind words about my book.
thank you for a good question like that. saying what i'm about to say is just an opinion and not necessarily anchored in great scholarship. i think it is common sense that most of us, all human beings are shaped by all these experiences that we have in youth and childhood. there have been many scholars have written books on lincoln's disposition, on the last only of his mother but a beloved woman mary, andto rutledge. rutledge. and others have written about his father as not a supported human being and you peace all this together, i don't want to get into psychohistory, not that there's anything wrong with that. i think that can be illuminating. i'm just not an expert.
except as a that i do think it sees inod sense and one so much of lincoln's documented story, not make-believe, documented, this deeply compassionate heart. even when it is not dealing with jewish deserters in general, it has been put it out that lincoln's generals and others are constantly on him to be more strict in terms of exacting discipline for people who run away and support and lincoln is hesitant to do that. is diligent in examining the story about the native american indians. i'm not an expert in the whole area, but, lincoln is often criticized for, but apparently i'm told he goes through all the
records one by one and seems to have a very caring heart. i personally believe the answer to your question, without having studied this in a primary fashion is that it makes common sense that your thoughts are correct. >> thank you. mr. zola: i have two questions. -- >> i have two questions. one is a trivial question where you will probably say no. i'm sitting here thinking, where zola andd to o'neill hughes?e -- jaque mr. zola: that would be an honor. he was not jewish. that is not necessarily mean .nything the best i can operate, my name
was changed from a russian name right around the time of the clemency. many of forms of my name, neither which are naturally inclined towards zola. i theorize that possibly this jewishery tradition -- tradition honoring someone who is not jewish who is irrelevant to the jews like alexander or cyrus and any other jews given the name zola. i can't prove it. but it makes a nice wishful thinking. [laughter] mr. zola: now my deeply serious question. 1850's, in light
the german jews came from europe him as he mentioned and invested a lot of their lives in things in the south. andon, industry, shipping maybe the future republicans, the abolitionist, felt that this is a group that is not located in the north, not going to allow the country to eliminate slavery and maybe that was in the back father's head. maybe lincoln understood that he had enemies because of the economic creases. in studying this, how would the jews in new york or boston or in the east who were against feeling about it?
it was a very controversial time in the early 1860's. it would go to war and not? if you're whole career is based on investment in the south, which a lot of his views were, the economic question. mr. zola:4 i will say this. there were examples. mayor wise.saac his newspaper, the israelites anglo-jewisholdest paper in publication. that newspaper's neighbor -- major readers were in the midwest and south. i think many researchers believed that one of the reasons weissncoln -- that was at the very least disinterested in war breaking out, and certainly was not going to write or get himself involved in the topic of slavery was
because so many of his readers were there. there is an example of something like that. business ofure of many who fell in that category. they were also people in the north, as you know, who would have liked to have seen the war brought to an end and settled and they were jews in that group who felt that enough death had taken place. yes, it is a complicated story. basically, i don't know this is the question you're asking, but basically, we often would like to think that jews, in the matter of slavery, light of our jewish history, the broader context, that we behave in a more noble and self-conscious way in opposition to slavery but the facts don't bear that out.
they were jews who fought slavery, they were jews who had slaves. it is more or less breaks down in accordance with the general population more or less. an constant it is distinction to the civil rights era of the 1950's and 60's. ,n those days, the eagerness the opportunities that they found wherever they came in this country, but it was the south or the north, overruled almost evything. of thented to be a part community in which they found themselves and which they accepted so readily. i hope that answers your question. >> on your primary source documents that i found was startling but the battery entry from eleanor kohn. can you tell everyone about that
briefly. mr. zola: yes. i try to bring a couple of those, one of the, again, the press deserves credit for this. for those of you who write books, if there are people in the room who are doing research, i will say that, it is always very difficult to receive criticism from your peers and have them come back after your card on thing and say, i don't you do this, why don't you do that. you what to tell them, why don't you do something, right? thoughta case where i they were being a little hard on me and they wanted me to work harder in an area and then went back and i think it was helpful. they wanted me to show more about jews who did not mind like lincoln. i brought a number of documents. one of the most startling is a
young woman whose dowry has survived. -- diary has survived. she is from charleston or maybe columbia. she is from the south. with alargely filled romance, stories about her boyfriend and fiance. young girl. 30.writes on april her entry is that she heard that lincoln and johnson and stewart have all been assassinated. what waspart of intended. she writes something, i will paraphrase, she says, good. i hope they all rot in hell or something like that. she expresses real disdain for
lincoln and that he deserved what he got and it has ruined our country. then she goes on to speak about her boyfriend again and so forth. [laughter] it does show you that there were surely jews in a point out that there were jews in the west coast of california who have been documented for curing when they hear that lincoln was assassinated. , but were these examples largely lincoln quickly becomes a hero. even in the south, it does not take long before lincoln is lionized there as well. >> we have time for one more question. >> i would like to point out that not only was he assassinated on good friday, he was assassinated on passover it
in the petersen house, there are 16 doctors in attendance. one of them was charles lieberman who cut off a lock of his hair and presented it to the surgeon general to their lincoln. there's a jewish connection there. -- mary lincoln. there's a good connection there. mr. zola: i make note of that and the book. i mentioned dr. lieberman. story.nny giving a, he was speech about his book and he is back brotherse and a person gets up and says i'm a descendent of the mac brothers. mr. zola: that's how jonathan carter begins his book with that funny story about that incident. they are still in cincinnati. onee's no doubt about it >> more story you would like to
share. e? mr. zola: one more. you will forgive me, there are two quotes that i want to end with. .ne i love character is lead musing about two statues that he sees. one of washington and one of lincoln. he described above and says, washington i must confess leaves me cold. maybe it's the horse, that he's leaning on. at any rate, he is obviously a goy. but lincoln, i could cry. look at him sitting there. how he labored for the downtrodden as wide. -- will i.
[laughter] the most touching story that i've come across in tickets every cent and i went with this. a contemporary sense and i will go with this. he contributes to the magazine. he wrote a book in 2006 called a land of lincoln. it is not a history of lincoln. what he does is goes around sitesa and he visits related to lincoln, interesting people who have interesting lincoln memorabilia. it is all about the cultural impact of lincoln. he tells a story that he went to see the museum. the new museum and sprinkle.
there in springfield he is staying at the hilton hotel and he says while he is in the lobby, he is discussing with the general manager why he is there and the general manager says, i have to tell you the story that just happened a few weeks ago. man came to stay at the hilton and this man was very elderly and the man clearly had parkinson disease. he was walking with her walker and the general manager and others in the hotel noticed that he was unstable on his feet and they were concerned it is seen they by himself and so tell it general manager that how ton is asking about take a cap from the hotel to the lincoln memorial. cab from the hotel to the
lincoln memorial. the general manager decides i will take you. he put two minutes car and takes into the tomb and goes into the tomb and thereby lincoln's grade, he cried. -- grave, he cried. he comes out of the tomb and gets back in the car. as he's going back to the hotel, has the fortitude to say, i cannot help but notice how emotional you were. i noticed you were crying. could you explain, could you tell me that that was about? himthe man proceeds to tell that when he was a little boy, he was in the concentration camp and that he was frightened for his life and that he says, he tells the manager that he had a
dream. he learned about lincoln and school -- in school and he had a dream and in the dream lincoln came to him. what he says, when he was in the concentration camp and he was all alone in his cell, it was the worst time of his life. he did not think he could go on anymore and he said, mr. lincoln can give him. -- came to him. mr. lincoln stood right in front of him like i'm standing in front of you and mr. lincoln said to him, you never forget all men are created equal. this is true for all men, for all time. these men would do the thing to , they areut you here no better than you. you are there equal because all men are created equal.
this, andemembering you persevere, you'll be all right! he goes on to tell the general manager that his whole life he had made up his mind that he to theay homage president and not this time of his life, he had made up his mind that he would do it. that of all the examples one could give, of how lincoln's memories, partially what my book is about, not just lincoln back then, but how every judaized lincoln and make him a useful support for the american experience. i don't see that too much more of a touching story than this one. a good one. i would give it of you for coming -- one to thank all of
>> in his speech, the president tells americans about prosperity by comparing the united states to the soviet and china. in addition, the president promises to end the vietnam war and peace with honor. president nixon was a 1972 general election in a landslide over democratic nominee george .cgovern the speech is just over 40 minutes. it is from nbc news. >> the president of the united states. [applause]