chapter  10
16 Pages

The Old Dominions: Virginia and Maryland

Guide books offer glowing accounts of the virtues of the Middle Atlantic states. Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware all are blessed with mild climates, vast beaches graced by ocean breezes, green forests and fertile valleys. The first permanent African inhabitants of North America arrived at Jameston in August 1619. John Rolfe made note of "a Dutch man of warre that sold us twenty Negars." The plantation gentry were Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists—a tightly knit aristocracy—but none of them were Jews. The history of Jews in neighboring Maryland is remarkably similar to that of Virginia. Bernard Illoway emulated Rev. Michelbacher calling for a peaceful separation from the Union. Benjamin Szold, like George Jacobs, called for reconciliation. There was, however, one individual in Baltimore who had the courage to speak out against the institution of slavery—Rabbi David Einhorn.