Its my second day here and I am invigorated… well sort of. I woke up, got up to quickly, became dizzy, and hit my head on the floor while trying to reach the wall… not a great way to start my day. But my head ache has dissipated and I am sitting in the archives as we speak. Yesterday I didn’t spend a long time here because I had to get groceries and shampoo, but today I am here 9-5pm, like I hope to be every Monday – Thursday, (Friday 9-3pm, because of Shabbat). The archives are pretty amazing. Yesterday, I pulled three collections. The first was a set of photographs of my great grandfather Louis Israel Newman, a prominent Rabbi of Rodeph Sholom in New York City. I was just curious to see what they had, it wasn’t anything new, but it was still neat to see them. I haven’t pulled his sermons or his correspondence yet, perhaps later this summer.
I also pulled to collections relating to my research. One dealt with the Hyams family, related to Judah Benjamin, the secretary of state (among other titles) for the Confederacy. They were a prominent South Carolina family and it was particularly interesting to read their obituaries. They reminded me of my great-great uncles’ obituaries from Wilmington, North Carolina that had almost overly- assimilated tones. This may be something to explore further, examining the obituaries of Jews in the Delta region?
I also examined a collection from the Blantonia Plantation in Mississippi. This plantation became the site of Greenville, Mississippi, a large Jewish community on the Mississippi after the River destroyed the original site of Greenville.
Many more collections and interesting folders of materials today…will update soon.