Mordecai Manuel Noah

Media - 1957.11.4 - SAAM-1957.11.4_1-000001 - 1493
Copied John Wood Dodge, Mordecai Manuel Noah, 1834, watercolor on ivory, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of Ettie W. Noah Wilson, through John L. Laskey, 1957.11.4
Free to use

Artwork Details

Mordecai Manuel Noah
Not on view
sight 3 182 58 in. (7.96.7 cm) rectangle, irregular
Credit Line
Bequest of Ettie W. Noah Wilson, through John L. Laskey
Mediums Description
watercolor on ivory
  • Portrait male — Noah, Mordecai Manuel — bust
Object Number

Artwork Description

Mordecai Manuel Noah (1785-1851) was possibly the most influential Jewish figure in the United States during the early nineteenth century. He was a lawyer, journalist, playwright, politician, judge, editor, and surveyor. As a patriot, he supported America’s war with Britain in 1812, and became the United States consul to Tunis. He studied law in South Carolina, and passed the New York bar in 1823. He was also an ardent Zionist and in 1825 purchased Grand Island in the Niagara River to create Ararat, a “Jewish Homeland.” Noah later pursued a career in journalism that included editing the National Advocate, founded by the Tammany faction of the Democratic Party. After he renounced their corrupt practices, he founded the New York Enquirer, and later the New York Evening Star. Noah developed a serious interest in the theater and wrote numerous plays, and was a founder of New York University.