City of New York, ss. The People of the State of New York, to the Sheriff of the City and County of New York, Greeting [ORIGINAL SIGNED LEGAL SUMMONS OF THE COURT OF NEW YORK TO SHERIFF MORDECAI MANUEL NOAH, DECEMBER 17th, 1821] [SIGNED][UNIQUE MANUSCRIPT ON VERSO]
New York: City and County of New York, 1821. Loose leaf. Oblong. 5x13". Printed document with period handwritten amendations in ink. This original document is a legal summons by the court of the city and county of New York, to the then sheriff of the county of New York (Manhattan), Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) requesting his presence at the start of the jury trial between Augustus Grule (plaintiff) and Douw K. Van Veghten (defendant), to be held third Monday of January (21st), . The case was to be presided over by Judge John T. Irving, and a pool of jurors to be decided. The document, dated the third Monday of December (17th), 1821 is signed at the bottom by the attorney (for either the defense or the prosecution?) named Kittridge, and the court clerk Thomas L. Brown. The verso of the summons contained a signed handwritten statement from Sheriff Noah reading "The execution of this writ appears by the hand answered". The same attorney Kittridge also signs on the verso. The front of the document is likely stamped with the now faded blind-stamped seal of the county of New York, on the left side. Document with minor age toning and two folding creases. Some light fading to the handwritten ink portions. In overall very good condition. Protected in modern mylar. vg. Item #47883
Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) was an American sheriff, playwright, diplomat, journalist and among the earliest prominent Jewish Americans. Considered among the most prominent American Jewish lay leaders of the early 19th century, he is most well known perhaps for his idealistic but ultimately failed attempt to create a refuge (community) solely for Jewish Americans on land he purchased on New York's Grand Island, in the Niagara river. This attempt to create a Jewish homeland in America (which he named Ararat) in 1825, predated modern Zionism by many decades. He is also known for his years as an the American consul in Tunis in 1813, where he was able to rescue a number of American sailors being held as prisoners. Despite this success he was recalled in 1815, controversially, under the claim by the Madison administration that his religion was an impediment to his duties. He also noted for his career as a newspaper publisher and journalist, his work as the first major Jewish American playwright, and most prominently his years serving as the 16th Sheriff of New York County (the borough of Manhattan) from 1821-1823. Noah was featured as a character in Ben Katchor graphic novel "The Jew of New York" (1999), and Gore Vidal's book "Burr" (1973).