Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851), Citizen of the United States of America, late Consul of said States for the City and Kingdom of Tunis, High Sheriff of New York, Counselor at Law, and, by the grace of God, Governor and Judge of Israel.

According to his admiring friend, the Hon. Lewis F. Allen:

"Physically, he was a man of large muscular frame, rotund person, a benignant face, and most portly bearing. Although a native of the United States, the lineaments of his race were impressed upon his features with unmistakeable character; and if the blood of the elder Patriarchs or David or Solomon flowed not in his veins, then both chronology and geneaology must be at fault. He was a Jew, thorough and accomplished. His manners were genial, his heart kind, and his generous sympathies embraced all Israel, even to the end of the earth. He was learned, too, not only in the Jewish and civil law, but in the ways of the world at large. . . .
"[I]f the sharpness of his political attacks created, for the time, a political rancor in the breasts of his opponents, his genial, frank, childlike ingenuousness healed it at the first opportunity. He was a pundit in Hebrew law, traditions and customs . . . and no argument or sophistry could swerve him from his fidelity, or uproot his hereditary faith."

On 2 September, 1825, in Buffalo, New York, in an Episcopal church "filled with ladies," Governor Noah – arrayed in "black, wearing the judicial robes of crimson silk, trimmed with ermine and a richly embossed golden medal suspended from the neck" -- lay'd the Chief of the Corner of Ararat, A City of Refuge for the Jews, and "rose and pronounced [the following] discourse, or rather delivered [the] speech," this "Declaration of Independence," the self-same "PROCLAMATION TO THE JEWS," announcing the "revival of Jewish government under the protection of the United States,–after the dispersion of that ancient and wealthy people for nearly two thousand years,–and the appointment of Mr. Noah as first Judge."

Read the full proclamation.

[Back to E.F.O.J.M.R.G. gallery]