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Michael Gratz ANS to Moses Michael Hays (Signed).

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Michael Gratz ANS to Moses Michael Hays (Signed).

AUTOGRAPHS & MANUSCRIPTS. Philadelphia, 1786. Personal note from one Jewish businessmen to another, regarding an overdue bill.

Price: $1,500

An obviously irritated Michael Gratz replies to an overdue bill from fellow business man Moses Michael Hays. Both were wealthy men in their time but, just like today, had their good times and their bad.

“I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter by post dated July 6th ditto where in you still continue the good wishes of your bank, and as I am now pushed to the extremity of time by execution to pay some of your protest bills, am forced to draw on you for 400 dollars which is but a small part towards what I am to pay, and as much on that account as will not amount to less than five hundred pounds this being ____, there off my family must be left in a distrest (sic) situation as all will be evicted by Sheriff Herringbone to pay yours. Will withstand situation accept this order… which will duly be acknowledged by Dr…M.G.”

Michael Gratz (1735-1811) American trader and merchant; born in Langendorf, Upper Silesia, Germany, 1740; emigrated to London, England, and thence to the United States (1759), where he resided in Philadelphia and in Lancaster, Pa. With his brother Barnard he engaged in trade with the Indians, supplying the United States government with Indian goods. The Gratz brothers were among the signers of the non-importation resolutions adopted on October 2, 1765, by the merchants of Philadelphia as a protest against the British Stamp Act, prior to the Revolution. When the final break with England came, the Gratz brothers cast their lot with the revolutionaries. Michael Gratz had moved to Virginia during the Revolution, and he took the oath of allegiance to that state in 1783. The highly esteemed Rebecca Gratz was his daughter.

Moses Michael Hays (1739-1805) Boston’s most prominent 18th century Jewish citizen and maternal uncle to Judah Touro. Hays was a prosperous merchant who introduced the Order of the Scottish Rite Masonic Order to America. He was the Grand Master of Massachusetts Masonic Lodge with Paul Revere and friend of patriot Thomas Paine. After moving from Newport to Boston in 1780, he is credited as being one of the founders of the Massachusetts Fire and Marine Insurance Co., which grew to become the Bank of Boston. In June 1776 (one month before the Declaration of Independence) Hays delivered a now famous letter to Rhode Island General Assembly protesting the requirement that Jews sign loyalty test before the fledging government.

GRATZ, Michael. Autograph Note Signed “M.G.” To Moses Michael Hays. Philadelphia, 5 September 1786. In ink on paper measuring 8 inches x 2 1/2 inches. Very good condition.