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Down HomeJewish Life in North Carolina$
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Leonard Rogoff

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833759

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895993_rogoff

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The Colony: Poor Man's Country 1585–1776

The Colony: Poor Man's Country 1585–1776

(p.7) 1 The Colony: Poor Man's Country 1585–1776
Down Home

Leonard Rogoff

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on Joachim Gans, the first Jew to arrive in Carolina and the first one in a British colony in the New World. Gans, a native of Prague, was the lead “mineral man” on Sir Walter Raleigh's second expedition to what was then the Virginia Territory. The 108 colonists intended not just to plant England's flag but to find new wealth for the crown. Facing starvation and hostile Indians, the colonists, Gans among them, returned to England in 1586, when Sir Francis Drake's privateer fleet sailed unexpectedly into the inlet. Despite his short stay, Gans was a prototype of Jewish settlers for generations. His origins were cosmopolitan, and he had left a traditional European Jewish community for an uncertain New World where his talents in commerce were valued more than his religion was despised.

Keywords:   Joachim Gans, Jew, Carolina, British colony, New World, mineral man

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