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George Croghan (c. 1718–1782), Bernard (1738–1801) and Michael (1740-1811) Gratz, undated, 1773 May 26, 1780 July 16


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The documents in the collection were originally bound in a leather book embossed with the title "Autograph Letters and Documents Relating to American Jewish History." As of April 2023, the AJHS has not discovered how or why donated Rosenbach materials were removed and placed in the bound volume. Notes found in the collection of documents include several items that were removed for exhibitions and never returned to the book. The earliest of these notes is from 1937, indicating that the volume was created prior to that year. In 2023, the documents were removed from the bound book by the Cahnman Preservation Laboratory at the Center for Jewish History and digitized by the staff of the American Jewish Historical Society. The documents were then ingested into the Center's digital management system and are now viewable to the public.

The collection holds various documents from prominent members of Jewish society in the 18th and 19th centures, plus some advertisements and book pages. Documents relate to the American Revolution and tariffs; American Revolution pensions; politics between Whig and Democratic issues during the 1840s; other correspondence and items published from pamphlets promoting books or schools.


  • undated, 1773 May 26
  • 1780 July 16


Historical Note

George Croghan was a Irish immigrant who befriended numerous American Indian tribes during the era of wars on the North American continent between Native tribes, the British and the French. He negotiated on behalf of the Native Americans and bought several hundred thousand acres of Native land in New York and Pennsylvania, but various reasons kept him indigent. The Gratz brothers, Bernard and Michael, who knew Croghan from earlier guided tours through the Western frontiers, helped finance Croghan as he had become persona non grata with new American leaders during the Revolutionary War. The Gratz family originally hailed from Poland, with Bernard immigrating to the Pennsylvania colony in 1754.


From the Collection: 0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Articles regarding George Croghan and the Gratz brothers.
  • 1. Byars, William Vincent. “THE GRATZ PAPERS.” Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, no. 23 (1915): 1–23.
  • 2. Jeffers, Joshua J. "George Croghan." The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.
  • 3. Volwiler, A. T. George Croghan and the Development of Central New York, 1763-1800.* Placed on-line March 2002. Published in The Quarterly Journal of the New York State Historical Association [New York History], Vol. IV, No. 1 (January, 1923), pp. 21-40.
  • 4. Volwiler, A. T. “George Croghan and the Westward Movement, 1741-1782.” The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 46, no. 4 (1922): 273–311.

Repository Details

Part of the American Jewish Historical Society Repository

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New York NY 10011 United States