Letter; Pettigrew, Samuel; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; 1817 November 19;

Colenda link:  https://colenda.library.upenn.edu/catalog/81431-p3ff3

So why is Samuel Pettigrew in an Early American Judaica Collection?

Because….he is the son of Judith Hart (daughter of Myer Hart de Shira, a wealthy Jewish merchant and one of the founders of Easton, Pa.). Judith Hart and all her siblings were raised Jewish (her sister Sarah married into the Cardozo family, which produced Justice Benjamin Cardozo).  In 1782, Judith Hart secretly married a non-Jew, Lt. James Pettigrew, an officer in the Revolutionary War, a member of Soc. of Cincinnati and a Scottish immigrant. They were secretly married by an Army Chaplain at a Victory Ball for George Washington, hosted by Judith’s Hart’s father. The newlyweds were allowed to remain together following an additional, Jewish ceremony conducted by Judith Hart’s Uncle, Mordecai, after the young couple told her family that they would raise all their girls as Jews, and the boys as Christians. Under Halakhic law, Samuel Pettigrew was Jewish.  No record of his having been baptized or of the location of his burial place (he died in 1841) as yet been found.  Judith (his mother) is buried in the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation Mikveh Israel cemetery in Philadelphia. His four sisters were raised Jewish.  Samuel Pettigrew was the last man to be appointed to serve as Mayor, was the first Mayor to be elected to that office by the people of Pittsburgh and the first Jewish Mayor of Pittsburgh.

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