Hananel Pereyra, American Patriot in the Revolution
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Power of Attorney of Hananel Pereyra. Together with notarized French translation. Signatures of Hananel Pereyra; Aaron B. and Benjamin Nones. Witnesses; and after French codicil, signature of Micaelle and Gabriela Rachel Pereyra. Philadelphia, 1816. American Document: 2 pp, French document: 3 pp, plus integral blank.
I, Hananel Pereyra of the city of Philadelphia, son of Jacob Rodriquez Pereyra…appoint Misses Micaelle & Gabrielle Pereyra, my aunts, residing in Bordaux…true and lawful Attorneys for me. To represent me…to the effect of receiving and recovering…sums of money from the Bank of England…
Both the Nones and Pereyra Families of Philadelphia originated in Bordeaux, France, where there existed an important community of Spanish-Portuguese Jews.
Benjamin Nones (1757-1826), who witnessed the present document, emigrated from Bordeaux to Philadelphia in the 1770s, and at one time took up arms on behalf of the colonies. He served in the Revolutionary Army with bravery. During the siege of Savannah he distinguished himself on the field of battle, receiving on December 15, 1779 a citation for gallant conduct. After the war, Nones entered into a business partnership with Haym Solomon. For many years Benjamin Nones served as parnas or president of Philadelphia’s Spanish-Portuguese Congregation Mikveh Israel. (See EJ. Vol. XII., cols. 1210-11; JE. Vol. IX, p. 330; Wolf and White man, The History of the Jews of Philadelphia (1957), p. 97).
Jacob Rodrigues Pereira (1715-1718), deceased father of Hananel, was born to a Marrano family in Berlanga, Spain. He was taken by his widowed mother to France, where they returned to traditional Judaism. In France, Pereira achieved renown as a progressive educator, becoming a pioneer in the field of educating congenital deaf-mutes. See EJ, Vol. XIII, col. 273.
Wolf and Whiteman, The History of the Jews of Philadelphia (1957), p. 492, n. 133 (Pereyra).
Malcolm H. Stern, Americans of Jewish Descent (1960), p. 168 (Nones).