(JUDAICA). Moses Lopez. A Lunar Calendar, of the Festivals, and other Days in the Year, Observed by the Israelites. [130 of 132] pages. Small 8vo, contemporary calf, worn, rebacked; front free endpaper detached, lacking leaves G2-3, final leaf apparently supplied from another copy; Cohen family inscriptions on rear free endpaper and elsewhere. In modern cloth folding case. [Newport, RI]: Newport Mercury, 1806
Only the second book published for a Jewish audience in America--and the first Jewish calendar. It also includes the calculations to determine "the Hour to commence the Sabbath, in the City of New-York. . . . It may, with a small variation, answer well for all the Northern States of America." The author Moses Lopez (1739-1830) was a member of the important Jewish community at Newport, RI, the nephew of wealthy merchant Aaron Lopez. The community went into rapid decline after the American Revolution, and Moses was said to be the last Jewish resident until he ultimately departed for New York in 1822. Goldman, page II:1166 (discussing the present copy in his "Manuscripts" appendix, with 4 illustrations); Rosenbach 135; Singerman 0163.
Provenance: inscribed by original owner Jacob I. Cohen (1744-1829) in 5566 (1806 CE) on leaves B1-2; gift from Jacob I. Cohen (1744-1829) to his nephew Jacob I. Cohen Jr. (1789-1869) in 1808, per inscription on the final blank. The nephew was one of the leaders in the fight to secure passage in 1825 of the "Jew Bill," which allowed Jews to hold public office in Maryland; he then gained election to the Baltimore City Council the following year. He brought his large Jewish book collection to his new home at 415 North Charles Street, where the collection and various family members remained for very close to a hundred years. This book was sold at the auction of his niece Bertha Cohen (1838-1929) as detailed in the catalog "Antique Furnishings of the Cohen House," Baltimore, 13 November 1929, lot 380 (Cohen sale noted in pencil on final blank).