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INV-24772 [JUDAICA] List of Number of Jews Naturalized, ca. November 1753. 1 p., 7 x 12 in. 1753-11-01

The 1740 Naturalization Act allowed an easy path to citizenship for Protestant immigrants to the colonies. While Catholics were excluded altogether, the Act exempted Quakers and Jews from part of the required oath and profession of faith. It offered Jewish colonists the first real opportunity for British citizenship. Then, in 1753, a law that opened citizenship to Jews living in England was passed but immediately repealed due to a public anti-Semitic backlash. Opponents then asked for a list of Jews who had attained citizenship since the 1740 Act. This list provides such a summary of Jewish naturalizations in Jamaica and the British American colonies from 1740 to 1752. Despite a push to overturn the 1740 Act, the move to repeal it was decisively defeated in Parliament.

This gives the number of Jewish naturalizations in four colonies: 151 in Jamaica from 1740 to 1750, one in South Carolina in 1741 (though names are not listed here, this was Joseph Tobias, who in 1750 became the president of the first synagogue established at Charleston), 26 in New York from 1741 to 1748, and 6 in Pennsylvania from 1747 to 1752.

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