An example of these claims appears on the following hate site(s): (Radio Islam)

George Washington
( in Maxims of George Washington by A. A. Appleton & Co.)

"They (the Jews) work more effectively against us, than the enemy's armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in... It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pest to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America."
George Washington

Well, I got the *Maxims of George Washington* (actually published by D. Appleton & Co., 1894) through interlibrary loan yesterday, thanks to U.C. San Diego being willing to allow a 104 yr. old volume to travel. It makes interesting reading. I found that the above quote is almost entirely accurate--EXCEPT that the original has no mention of the Jews. Why am I not surprised?

When Washington made this statement he was, according to *Maxims* speaking of speculators in the currency, not Jews. I did a teensy bit of research & discovered that one of the great problems of our Revolution was that speculators cornered supplies of shoes, clothes & vital supplies & sold them at huge profits, while privateers would slip out of port & trade in other nations making individuals rich to the detriment of the national treasury. In a letter to John Augustine Washington (10/26/1778) Washington wrote:

"I would to God that one of the most atrocious of each State was hung in gibbets upon a gallows five times as high as the one prepared for Haman." (Haman~In the Old Testament, a Persian minister who was hanged for plotting the destruction of the Jews.)

As to what Washington really felt about the Jews, I have found no negative statements--although I _did_ find addresses to Jewish congregations congratulating them on the freedom from persecution that America offered them! As a matter of fact, Jews played a great part in our Revolution. They took part in our rebellion from the very
first: 9 Jews signed the Non-Importation Resolutions of 1765 (on display in Philadelphia at Carpenter's Hall). One, Haym Salomon, was a rich man who unstintingly gave money to help our leaders when in need (including Jefferson & Madison and other members of congress) & refused to be paid back & in addition gave many thousands of dollars to the Treaury & the army. Many other Jews gave money to our early government, including one Manuel Mordecai Noah who served as an officer on Washington's staff & who, upon enlistment, gave his entire fortune of 20,000 pounds to the cause. Many fought as soldiers.

Since Washington spoke out on his feelings about Indians and slaves, especially in his diaries & letters, I can't help but think that if he had any low opinions of Jews they would have surfaced long ago.

The original poster tried to use the words of Washington to spread his foul lies & prejudices. Hey Buryea, try _this_ quote from *The Maxims of Washington*:

"I am sure, the mass of citizens in these United States mean well; & I firmly believe they will always act well, whenever they can obtain _a right understanding of matters_. But, in some parts of the Union, where the sentiments of their delegates & leaders are adverse to government, and great pains are taken to inculcate a belief, that their rights are assailed & their liberties endangered, it is not easy to accomplish this; SPECIALLY, as is the case invariably, when INVENTORS & ABETTORS OF PERNICIOUS MEASURES use infinitely more industry, in DISSEMINATING POISON, than the well-disposed part of the community, in furnishing the antidote. TO THIS ALL OUR DISCONTENTS MAY BE TRACED; and from it all our embarrassments proceed." (p.76,

Susan Umpleby ( in Usenet message

In his famous letter to "The Hebrew Congregation in Newport," written in 1790, President George Washington pledged that the new nation would "give to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance" and thereby set the standard for religious freedom and civil liberties in America.


In the light of these comments, George Washington could hardly be accused of being an anti-Semite. The full text of the letter follows:

To the Hebrew Congregation in Newport Rhode Island


While I receive with much satisfaction, your Address replete with expressions of affection and esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of answering you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to New port, from all classes of Citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past, is rendered the more sweet, from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good Government, to become a great and a happy people.

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity. May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own wine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

George Washington Letter to the Touro Synagogue, 1790

David S. Maddison (

Benjamin Franklin

This prophecy, by Benjamin Franklin, was made in a "CHIT CHAT AROUND THE TABLE DURING INTERMISSION," at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787. This statement was recorded in the dairy of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, a delegate from South Carolina.

"I fully agree with General Washington, that we must protect this young nation from an insidious influence and impenetration. The menace, gentlemen, is the Jews.

In whatever country Jews have settled in any great number, they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation is founded, by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within the state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal.

For over 1,700 years, the Jews have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But gentlemen, did the world give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only among themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race.

If you do not exclude them from these United States, in their Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed here in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land and change our form of government, for which we Americans have shed our blood, given our lives our substance and jeopardized our liberty.

If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them substance, while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude Jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves.

Jews, gentlemen, are Asiatics, let them be born where they will nor how many generations they are away from Asia, they will never be otherwise. Their ideas do not conform to an American's, and will not even thou they live among us ten generations. A leopard cannot change its spots. Jews are Asiatics, are a menace to this country if permitted entrance, and should be excluded by this Constitutional Convention. "
Benjamin Franklin

The quote alleged to be by Franklin is a forgery. It is discussed in "They Never Said It" by Boller and George, p.27

[Reference: "They Never Said It", Paul F. Boller Jr. and John George, New York, Oxford University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-19-605541-1 and ISBN 0-19-506469-0 -DSM]

"The Franklin quote apparently first turned up on February 3, 1934 in William Dudley Pelley's pro-Nazi sheet, _Liberation_, published in Asheville, North Carolina. According to Pelley, it was taken from notes made by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, delegate to the Constitutional Convention from South Carolina... But there is no Pinckney diary, and historian Charles Beard, after a thorough investigation... concluded: "This alleged `Prophecy' ascribed to Franklin is a crude forgery.. . There is in our historical records no evidence whatever of any basis for the falsehood."

"On one occasion, when the Hebrew Society of Philadelphia sought to raise money for a synagogue, Franklin signed the petition appealing to "citizens of every denomination" for contributions. Nevertheless, during the 1930s and 1940s, the Franklin forgery was cited time and again in the Nazi press in Germany, broadcast over the Nazi radio... It was popular, too, in neo-Nazi circles in the United States."

Another good source for a discussion of the Ben Franklin hoax is Morris Kominsky's excellent (but hard to find) book, "Hoaxers: Plain Liars, Fancy Liars and Damned Liars" Branden Press 1970. [..]

Mr. Kominsky notes the hoax reported in a 1966 issue of THUNDERBOLT, a publication of the National States Rights Party. He notes the rumor made the rounds in 1934 by William Dudley Pelley, professional anti-Semite, leader of the Silver SHirts (SS--get it?). He attributed it to the diary of Charles Pinckney of South Carolina who was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. When challenged, Pelley claimed to have taken it from a copy of the diary which was the property of an unidentified descendent of Pinckney. Historian Charles Beard made a search for this 'diary' and Henry Butler Allen of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia issued a statement in 1938 that the diary did not exist and based on an analysis of the language in the anti-semitic speech attributed to Franklin, the language used was not Colonial English.

-Danny Keren.

Peter Styvesant
(17th century Dutch governor in America.)

"The Jews who have arrived would nearly all like to remain here, but learning that they (with their customary usury and deceitful trading with the Christians) were very repugnant to the inferior magistrates, as also to the people having the most affection for you; the Deaconry also fearing that owing to their present indigence they might become a charge in the coming winter, we have, for the benefit of this weak newly developing place and land in general, deemed it useful to require them in a friendly way to depart; praying also most seriously in this connection, for ourselves also for the general community of your worships, that the deceitful race - such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ - not be allowed further to infect and trouble this new colony. "
Peter Styvesant
(Letter to the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch West India Company, from New Amsterdam, September 22, 1654.)

What is so surprising about this quote, if true? The religious bigotry of the Old World, was exactly the sort of thing that the new nation of America – the New World was founded (after Peter Stuyvesant) to rid itself of.

Concerning the search for freedom by Jews in the New World it is well described by the following poem:



17th and 18th Centuries C.E.

To sail Columbus had to understand
The charts by Abraham Zacuto's hand;
Jews were on board when Columbus saw land.

In New Amsterdam the first Jews to arrive,
Had to fight Stuyvesant to stay alive;
Professing Jews, they struggled to survive.

Slowly the Jewish community grew
In seventeen thirty a charter came through
For the first synagogue-long overdue.

Jews among fighters who broke the English tie;
Those who could, gave wealth; some were to die.
Independence from Britain they helped pry.

To assist the States in their freedom war,
Haym Salomon, the patriot, bore
The financial burden of many a corps.

The Old Testament-a force to impel
The colonists their tyrants to expel.
Words from Scripture on the Liberty Bell.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution
In the Hebrew Bible found the solution
How to build a liberal institution.

David S. Maddison (

Concerning Peter Stuyvesant, a Dutchman, he was a person that reflected the bigoted attitudes of his time. He was a rabid anti-Semite that caused great suffering to the Jews. In 1654 the Portugese recaptured Holland's Brazilian colony and a group of 23 Jewish refugees sought asylum in New Amsterdam (to become New York) where Stuyvesant was the governor. Stuyvesant wanted them expelled because he thought of them as Christ-killers and thieves but was stopped doing so by the Dutch West Indies Company because it had a number of Jewish shareholders and that company was vital to the health of the colony.

However, even though the Jews gained a temporary reprieve, the company though Stuyvesant's original wish desirable in any case and it was required that the refugees "not become a burden to the company or to the community".

Stuyvesant adopted a strategy of making life for the Jews so miserable that they might leave of their own accord anyway. He issued edicts prohibiting Jews from owning property, employing Christians, travelling without property, praying in public or joining Citizen's guards.

The arrogance of Stuyvesant is expressed in what he said to some Long Island citizens that wanted a part in government: "We derive our authority from God and the West India Company, not from the pleasure of a few ignorant subjects". Presumably this exactly the type of leader the ignorant anti-Semites that post this material would want.

David S. Maddison (

Thomas Jefferson

(18th century American statesman)
"Dispersed as the Jews are, they still form one nation, foreign to the land they live in. "
Thomas Jefferson (D. Boorstin, THE AMERICANS)

Firstly, anti-Semites should learn to quote their "sources" correctly and also include the relevant page number. The correct citation for the book is "The Americans – The Colonial Experience", Daniel. J. Boorstin, Vintage Books, 1958. The "quote" above has been changed from the original, which appears on page 64 of the paperback edition. Speaking about the American Quakers and the problems they experienced because, for example, they would not defend themselves against Indian attacks, he speaks of them as "a religious sect…acting with one mind, and that directed from the mother Society in England. Dispersed, as the Jews, they still form, as those do, one nation, foreign to the land they live in."

I don't see this as anti-Semitic or even anti-Quaker. Jefferson is simply commenting on the character of both the Quakers and the Jews of not totally assimilating with the surrounding society and maintaining their traditions. Whatever is wrong with this in a free society? Wasn't the freedom to practice one's religious beliefs one of the founding principles of the United States?

The imputation behind the original misquote is also at variance with Jefferson's support for both freedom of religious belief and practice and also his belief in freedom from religion. He was determined that the religious bigotry and intolerance in the Europe of his time would not be exported to America. In 1777 he drafted "An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom" and in 1779 when he became Governor of Virginia he introduced the Act into the legislature. An opposing bill, proposing to make Christianity the official religion of America was then introduced by Patrick Henry and had primarily Anglican support.

Jews along with Baptists, freethinkers and some Anglicans supported the Jefferson bill. James Madison made a speech to the Virginia General Assembly which strongly swayed support to the Jefferson bill and it became law on 16 Jan 1786. It read, in part:

"II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.'

David S. Maddison (

Someone recently asked about Jefferson and the Jews. Of all the Founders, Jefferson is the only major figure in whose writings something anti-Semitic cannot be found. Jefferson disagreed with the inward directedness of the Jewish people in the Old Testament, and he believed that Jesus (a Jew) improved upon Judaic thought by taking ethical concerns into the human conscience. To Dr. Jacob De La Motta, Savannah, Georgia, Jefferson wrote that he rejoiced "in the restoration of the Jews, particularly to their social rights." Jefferson hoped that the Jews "will be seen taking their seats on the benches of science as preparatory to their doing the same at the board of government."

To Mordecai M. Noah Jefferson wrote, in 1818, "You sect by its sufferings has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal spirit of religious intolerance inherent in every sect, disclaimed by all when feeble, and practiced by all when in power."

"Those who labor in the earth are the Chosen People of God, if ever he had a chosen people. "
Thomas Jefferson

First of all, the reference is incorrect. The book is called "Notes on the State of Virginia", written in 1785. Also, the quote is incomplete. The full sentence reads "Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of G-d, if ever he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.". This quote appears in "Query XIX. Manufactures" and is on page 164 of the edition edited by William Peden, published for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, University of North Carolina Press, 1955, © 1954.

It is difficult to see how this can be construed to have anti-Semitic intent. Jefferson is simply saying that people "who labor in the earth" should be highly revered. Obviously, without such people, no agriculture would exist.

Jefferson's view is entirely consistent with his belief in a strong agricultural sector of the economy. There is no mention of "Jews" or "Israelites" in the index of the book.

David S. Maddison (

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