Thomas Kennedy — Fighter for Human Rights
IN 1797, IN MARYLAND, SOLOMON ETTING,
BERNARD GRATZ, AND OTHER PROMINENT
JEWS OF BALTIMORE CAME BEFORE THE
MR. GRATZ, THE BILL
ETTI NG, 'I
HAS FAILED TO
SUGGEST WE GO
MR. ETTING IS RIGHT! WE JEWS
ARE THUS DEPRIVED OF CITIZENSHIP!
OUR CONSTITUTION REQUIRES 'BELIEF IN
THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION" FOR HOLDING
BEIRUT (ZINS)—Egypt has de- gold sales in order to enable Egypt
cided to sell its last remaining gold to receive a favorable price for its
reserves estimated at 2,000,000 bullion.
Egyptian pounds to cover "urgent
expenditures," Yosuf Tacola, a
IP YOU TURN THE
well-known banker in Lebanon as-
serted here. The Egyptian govern-
ment has empowered the banker
UPSIDE DOWN YOU WON'T
of Lebanon to handle this transac-
FIND A FINER WINE THAN
tion. Soviet Russia is reported to
have temporarily suspended its
°S ° .11
A VOTE WAS TAKEN TO CHANGE THE
THEY TRAVELED TO THE WESTERN PART OF THE
STATE TO MEET A YOUNG STATE SENATOR.
I WAS BORN IN
WE HAVE HEARD OF YOUR
SCOTLAND IN '76, THE
YEAR OF FREEDOM!
Egypt Reported Selling Its Last Gold Reserves
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
WILL YOU I
I'M A PRESBYTERIAN
AND I BELIEVE THAT
EVER( CITIZEN MAY
WORSHIP GOD IN HIS MR. KENNEDY?
Milan Wineries, Detroit, Mich..
8—Friday, March 18, 1966
THERE ARE BUT A FEW JEWS IN
MARYLAND. BUT IF THERE WERE
ONLY ONE, WE WOULD OWE.
HIM JUSTICE! .., I'M ITH YOU,
FIRST TIME OUT OF DETROIT
Most Unusual Trip Ever Offered
BUT AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION
HAD TO PASS TWO TIMES! HIS ENEMIES
WENT TO KENNEDY'S HOME COUNTY...
MAKE JEWS FULL CITIZENS
MR. KENNEDY'S AMENDMENT
HA5 SEEN CARRIED!
- ' ft:
- - - .4...
. , .,.
Departure July 19th
Length of Trip -- 21 Days
KENNEDY LOST. BUT HE MADE A
COMEBACK IN 182.6.
I THANK YOU FOR RE-ELECTING
ME —AND THUS VOTING FOR
THE PRINCIPLES FOR WHICH I
•PARIS • BIARRITZ
•TOURS • POE
AMERICANS OF THE JEWISH
FAITH THANK YOU,
THAT IS WHY
* , -
4 0 . ,,• 1
This cartoon is reproduced from "A Picture Parade of Jewish History" by Morris Epstein, pub-
lished by Shengold Publishers, New York, by special arrangement with the author and publishers.
Dr. Epstein's accompanying ex-
. planatory essay on Thomas Ken-
We take for granted the idea of
religious freedom in America. But
matters were not always so, and
the process by which American
Jews achieved religious liberty
was often a difficult one.
In Maryland, one of the original
thirteen colonies, it was a Scotch
Presbyterian who fought the battle
for every man to worship God in
his own way and still be a full
The Maryland constitution of
1776 required "a declaration of a
belief in the Christian religion"
for holding office in the state. In
1797 Solomon Etting, his father-in-
law Bernard Gratz, and other
prominent Jews of Baltimore pe-
titioned the legislature to change
Etting and Gratz spoke up stout-
ly, recalling the role Maryland's
fifteen Jewish families had played
in the American Revolution and
pointing out, among other facts,
that Jacob Hart, a Baltimore mer-
chant, had raised $10,000 for La-
fayette's soldiers. The bill was
brought up in the legislature time
and again but it failed to pass until
Thomas Kennedy took up the fight.
Born in Scotland in 1776, Kenne-
dy had come to Maryland in 1811.
He did not live in Baltimore where
about 150 Jews then resided, but
in the western part of the state.
His own feelings on the subject
were very clearly stated:
"There are scarcely any Jews in
the country from which I come
and I have but the barest acquaint-
ance with any Jews in the world.
There are few Jews in the United
States; in Maryland there are very
few, but if there were only one, to
that one we ought to do justice. A
religious test can never be produc-
tive of any good effect. It may
prevent the honest and conscien-
tious from accepting an office, but
the wicked and ambitious will not
be stopped by so feeble a barrier."
The bill to make Jews full cit-
izens was proposed as an amend-
ment to the state constitution. An
amendment had to pass two ses-
sions of the legislature. It passed
in 1822 for the first time. But in
the next election, the fight was
carried into Kennedy's home coun-
ty. He was defeated for re-election
and his "Jew bill," as it was called,
UJA Tackles Underhousing
failed with him.
In 1826 he campaigned for the
"Jew bill" and was victorious. He
thereupon introduced the bill into
the legislature and proudly saw it
carried for a second time. He had
been bitterly opposed and he had
fought only for the Jews: for all
Christians, including Catholics and
Quakers, were already full citizens
in Maryland. In gratitude to Ken-
nedy, the Jews of Maryland later
erected a monument in his honor
in Hagerstown, Md.
Thomas Kennedy of Maryland,
sincere worker for the advance-
ment of man, deserves to be re-
membered because of his dedicat-
ed service on behalf of religious
Sincere are the wounds of a
But deceitful are the kisses of an
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