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Jacques Judah Lyons, hazzan, rabbi and community leader, was born in Surinam and emigrated to Philadelphia in the early 1800s. Minister of the New York Congregation Shearith Israel for 38 years, he gathered extensive materials on early Jewish history in the United States, Canada and the West Indies. His papers include manuscripts, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, notebooks, photographs, and a Sansom ship's log book. Contains material relating to Jews in North and South America generally and more specifically to Congregation Shearith Israel and the Jews in New York, the Touro Synagogue and cemetery and the Jews in Newport, Rhode Island, Philadelphia and the West Indies. Also contains material relating to Jews in the wars of the United States, correspondence of the Jews with George Washington and items relating to Haym Salomon. Collection consists of manuscript material and five notebooks and three scrapbooks of Lyons. Contains material not listed in calendar consisting of sermons by Lyons, a manuscript prayer book used in Surinam and a guide for religious ceremonies at Congregation Shearith Israel, as well as letters written during the Civil War period and correspondence relating to the personal life and career of Lyons.