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October 02, 1959 - Image 64

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1959-10-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

-- 64

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, October 2, 1959

The 'Smith Alias Pollock Case,' an Historical Whodunnit

A historical mystery, as
strange as any whodunnit, has
turned up in the files of the
American Jewish Archives on
the Cincinnati campus of the
Hebrew Union College-Jewish
Institute of Religion.
The research center discov-
ered a puzzling name change
in which a Jewish Revolution-
ary War hero slid in and out
of a pseudonym for no appar-
ent reason.
Passing himself off as "Jos-
eph • Smith," the Jew Elias Pol-
lock rendered distinguished
military service in the Revolu-
tionary War, then, returning to
civilian life, he quietly re-

sumed his original identity.
It is beyond a doubt that
both Smith and Pollock were
actually one man, according to
Dr. Jacob R. Marcus, director
of the archives.
Documents from the Na-
tional Archives and Records
Service in Washington, D. C.,
tell the story of a "Joseph
Smith" who enlisted as a
private in the third Mary-
land regiment, at Baltimore.
For two years, from 1778 to
1'780, he served in Pennsyl-
vania, New Jersey and New
York. Then, in August, 1780,
he was wounded in South
Carolina while serving under

Best Wishes on the New Year

WAYNE BATHS

WO 2-6744

1377 WEST VERNOR

a -

0

13

New Year Greetings

WARREN-WELLS CO.

Spring Air Mattresses

14288 MEYERS RD.

TE 4-4390

O

ID

0I

New Year -Greetings to Our Friends and Patrons

WARNER & WARNER ENGINEERING

828 FARWELL BLDG.

WO 2-7118

Happy New Year Greetings
To All Our Friends and Patrons

TOPS & TILE CO.

Formica and Plastic Wall Tile

22028 FEN KELL

KE 1-7908

A Happy New Year

American Commander Gates
in the Battle of Camden.
Taken prisoner, he was car-
ried to British-occupied
Charleston, and then to St.
Augustine, Fla., where he was
detained until peace was de-
clared.
An army buddy said, years
later in 1818, that he and
"Smith" had been together un-
til 1780. They had met again
in Baltimore, six years later.
The soldier he had known as
"Joseph Smith" was now known
by the name of "Elias Pollock."
When he applied for the
government pension due needy
veterans of the Revolutionary
—for Pollock was indeed
needy after losing his house,
furniture and property serving
as a bondsman for another—he
signed himself as Elias Pollock
—in Hebrew characters. Being
a Jew, he pronounced the cus-
tomary oath on the Five Books
of Moses.
The pension file indicates
that he was born about the
year 1755. By manufacturing
"black balls" (shoe blacking)
on an extensive scale, together
with other trade, Pollock was,
in- later years, able to support
his wife and two daughters.
Following the unfortunate
seizure and sale of his prop-
erty in 1821, he testified that
all his remaining belongings
came to a value of no more
than $20. He described his
wife as "now nearly help-
less" at the age of 53. In
addition, one of his daugh-
ters was deserted by her
husband, and Pollock suf-
fered a rupture brought on
by the hardships he had ex-
perienced in the army.
The casual governmental re
port of Pollock's assumption of
an alias is unexplained in the
records. Nor is it understood
why he subsequently returned
to his true name.
Dr. Marcus rules out anti-
Jewish prejudice in the army
as an answer to the puzzle.
"On the whole, the early Amer-
ican Jew was accepted by his
neighbors," he said. Nor were
foreign-born patriots resented
here, witness Kosciusko, the
Marquis de Lafayette and Gen-

eral von Steuben.
If Pollock were trying to
escape debts contracted in
civilian life, why did he re-
sume his true identity after
the war? Or, • if this is what
motivated him, had his credi-
tors meanwhile died without
heirs?
But this is only one of the
numerous curiosities of the
American Jewish past, a se-
cret hidden in the files of the
American Jewish Archives.

The wise in heart shall be
called prudent: . . . Under-
standing is a well-spring of life
unto him that hath it.—Prov.
16:21, 22.

i L

New Year's Greetings
To Our Friends and
Customers

Max's Kosher Poultry,
Fish & Egg Market

Max Saltzman — We Deliver

18401 Wyoming, cor. Pickford
UN. 3-3159

I

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"In the New 7 Mile - Grand River Shopping Center)

Holiday Good Cheer

NEEDLECRAFT SEWING SCHOOL

Learn the Right Way — Day and Evening Classes

11042 KERCHEVAL •

VA 2-8469

Happy Holiday Greetings

New York Custom Shoe Shop

Shoes of Every Description Made to Order
37 Years' Experience
Skating Shoe Extensions — Arches and Lasts
Made from Plaster Casts

133 E. GRAND RIVER (second floor)

WO 2-7989

Rosh Hashanah Best Wishes

PERSONAL PRODUCTIONS

Lenn B orav ay

4255 WOODWARD

TE 2-1917-8

New Year Greetings

General Hauling and Cleaning of All Kinds

80 EAST 7 MILE RD.

FO 6-1429

19106 Livernois at 7 Mile Rd.

New Year Greetings

UN 4-7773

Richard P. Williams and Sons

Plastering Repairs
Richard R. Williams — Nelson R. Williams

9624 PIEDMONT
VE 8-5213

New Year Greetings

K. SHAPIRO,
Inc.

Season's Best Wishes
STUDIO FLOWERS & GIFT PACKAGES

Imported Foods and Delicacies in Unusual Containers
Make Marvelous Gifts for the Holiday
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13516 SECOND AVE., Corner Davison

Holiday Greetings

A. M. KIDDER & CO.

Complete Investment and Brokerage Service
Established 1865

Members New York Stock Exchange and Other Security
and Commodity Exchonges

WO 3-4320

Sincerest Best Wishes to the Jewish
Community for a Happy New Year

ro–..,,...i,...,....--,—....o.---....-----------g
Happy New Year Greetings
1
I
To All Our Friends and Patrons
I

WHITE TOWER
1 INDUSTRIAL LAUNDRY and CLEANERS i

2800 STANDISH
TA 5-7800

5 1, esr•-.21- -w -- 7.1-•-1/4"-13-"..1^,r ,









• •


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• •

1

13100 KERCHEVAL

VA 2-5266 1

.—.1



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i

i

Veol and Lomb



13551 LONGACRE
VE 7-2357

Alterations and Repairs Exclusively
APARTMENTS and RESIDENCES

■ 11.41.1•11.41 ■ Di0.111•011••••11.11•1.1111•0.4.11 ■ 04 ■ 11

M. H. ZACKHEIM
1113 MAJ EST I C BLDG.

VI 3-1312

I 611 West 9 Mile
Ferndale
LI. 1-5370 i
I BETTY HANSEN'S BEAUTY STUDIO i
! i 25481 Grand River
Redford
KE 4-8821 I

The LINEN CLOSET

SUN OIL COMPANY

610 FORD BLDG.

Detroit 9, Mich.

BETTY MURRAY'S BEAUTY STUDIO

Happy New Year

TE 4-9654

Cordial Holiday Greetings
from the

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7700 DIX ROAD

WINKLER SANITATION CO.

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Dealers in all Grades of Waste
Paper and Metals

Best Wishes on the New Year

SUPERIOR INSULATION

12147 B I RWOOD

Happy New Year
LAFAYETTE
WASTE PAPER CO.

New Year Greetings • • •


flitEROLASS WATS

14560 Stansbury

VE 8-0442

•• • •

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••
S


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11••••0•••••••••••••••: ■

Happy New Year to Our Friends

BILL WHITE SHEET METAL

Estimates Given

19203-BEECH

DETROIT 40

larion

F13,11.1

rino

WEISSMAN

EXCAVATING COMPANY

Commercial & Residential Excavating
Fuel Oil and Gas Tanks Installed
Sewers - Bulldozing - Fill Sand - Fill Dirt

15496 Telegraph, Redford

KE. 3-2660

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