JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Help the Smithsonian Identify a Jewish Sampler #general

Helene Kenvin <hekenvin@...>

I quickly looked at the images of the samplers at the link provided
in the prior post about the items in the Smithsonian. The first
thing we can tell the folks at the museum is that the sampler does
not say it is by "B. Laxarus," but rather that it is by "B. Lazarus."
The third letter in the surname is not an "x" but a "z," which is
attached to the preceding "a" at the top-left of the "z's" serif
(making it look somewhat like an "x"). Lazarus, of course, is a
relatively common surname, as opposed to the esoteric (and perhaps
non-existent) "Laxarus."

Yes, Lazarus may be a Jewish surname and, yes, the Hebrew alphabet
is on the sampler. However, while it is likely that the work was
done by a Jew, the evidence is not necessarily definitive. In 19th
century America, it still was not that unusual for Christians to
study Hebrew.

Helene Kenvin
South Florida

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