Task

Your task is to analyze two letters of correspondence.  The first is an address written by Moses Seixas, warden of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island on August 17, 1790, to mark the visit of George Washington to the city of Newport.  The second letter is President Washington’s prompt reply, probably written on August 18, 1790.  As Washington enjoyed his first term, and toured the country, letters of congratulations and requests for recognition and special consideration were addressed to him.  In this example, the voices of the Jews of Newport rise to articulatetheir historic and current concerns at the dawn of the American experiment in government. 

In analyzing these letters, you will learn how to read and interpret primary source documents and how to answer document based questions. 

Finally, in a document that pre-dates the Bill of Rights, you will discover what George Washington, living embodiment of the American Revolution, believed to be the rights and responsibilities of members of the Jewish faith in the new United States of America.