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The Journal of San Diego History
SAN DIEGO HISTORICAL SOCIETY QUARTERLY
Summer 1975, Volume 21, Number 3
James E. Moss, Editor

By Norton B. Stern

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Lewis Abraham Franklin and his brother Maurice Abraham Franklin were prominent citizens of San Diego in the 1850s, and though there has been material published on their hotel, the Franklin House, San Diego’s first three-story building, little has been known about the principals themselves.1 A good deal of information has been available on the English and Canadian relatives of Lewis and Maurice, but the lives of the California brothers have not been considered heretofore.2 The Franklins were a prominent English Jewish family, the earliest known member of whom was Menachem Mendel Franckel, the rabbi of Wroclaw (Breslau), Poland. His son, Benjamin Wolf Franklin, emigrated to London in 1763. He married Sarah Joseph and two of their children were Abraham and Lewis franklin.3

Abraham Franklin married Miriam Aron in 1807, and they raised a family of twelve children: Jacob, Sarah, Benjamin, Isaac, Mendler, Esther, David, Maurice, Lewis, Abraham, Ellis and Henry. Maurice was born in 1817, Lewis in 1820. The family had moved from Portsmouth to Liverpool, England, about 1815. and it was at the latter city that Maurice and Lewis were born. In Liverpool, Abraham Franklin established himself as a Navy Agent and silversmith. Maurice and his brother Abraham took over their father’s silversmith business when he retired in 1845. Shortly thereafter Lewis went to Jamaica to assist his brother Benjamin, nine years his senior, who had become an established merchant on that island in the West Indies.4 Lewis only remained with his brother a short time, settling in Baltimore in 1847. The news of the California gold discovery in 1848 led to his prompt departure, on January 18, 1849, for San Francisco, by means of the schooner Sovereign.5 There he opened a retail store in a canvas-covered, wood-framed room, actually little more than a tent, located on Jackson Street near the corner of Kearny.6 In the fall a notice appeared in a San Francisco newspaper that High Holy Day services (Rush Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the New Year and Day of Atonement) were to be held in Lewis A. Franklin’s tent-store. These quarters accommodated the first Jewish worshippers in the West. According to one account, about thirty Jews were present. Another account which may reflect the Yom Kippur observances noted that “forty or fifty” were in attendance.7

In the summer of the following year a committee leased a portion of the Masonic Hall on Kearny Street in San Francisco for the fall High Holy Days, and the temporary congregation organized for the occasion called itself the “Kearny Street Hebrew Congregation.” The leaders of this group requested that Lewis Franklin deliver the traditional Yom Kippur sermon, and on September 16, 1850, he did so. His efforts met with such appreciation that the officers and trustees of the temporary High Holy Days congregation requested a copy for publication. The sermon, which was published in full by the Anglo-Jewish weekly Asmonean, of New York, thus became the first recorded Jewish homiletical effort in Western North America.8

Lewis Franklin left San Francisco in the summer of 1851 and settled in San Diego where, with various partners, two of whom were George Davis and Thomas Whaley, he established a general merchandise store, the Tienda California (California Shop). By the spring of 1852 he was the sole owner of the store.9 In the fall of the year he arrived Lewis repeated his 1849 experience in San Francisco, hosting the first High Holy Day services ever held in San Diego, in his home. He was joined in those 1851 services, the first jewish religious rites of which there is a contemporary record in Southern California, by Mark Israel Jacobs and Charles A. Fletcher.10

A month later San Diego County was panicked by an Indian uprising known as the Garra revolt, and a volunteer force of seventy-nine men was hurriedly raised in San Diego to protect the town. Franklin took an active part in the citizens’ meeting at which the military force was authorized and organized, and he became the quartermaster of the company. After a futile two-week effort by the volunteers to find the Indians, the company was disbanded, and a detachment of the United States Army took the field.11

In the spring of 1852 Lewis Franklin served as foreman of the San Diego County Grand Jury which rendered a lengthy report on the rampant state of vice and crime, the absence of public sanitation, the alcoholism of the Indians and those responsible for this evil, and the slipshod way in which both the city jail was kept and the mayor’s office was run. Franklin wrote and signed the report, which deeply impressed the local editor.

We will venture to say, that there never was a body of men, convened for a similar purpose, in this county, who so ably, faithfully and fearlessly performed their duties, as this present grand jury; and although every member of the body deserves, and has received, thanks of both the Court and the people, yet we cannot forbear to mention, particularly, Mr. Lewis A. Franklin, the foreman, for the zeal with which he entered into the great work of correcting the abuses and suppressing crime in our midst.12

By the end of the year, Franklin was acting as a justice of the peace and a notary public, in addition to running his store, the Tienda California. The store carried “dry goods, groceries, liquors, crockery, glassware, hard-ware and ironmongery.”13 In August, 1853, Franklin ran for the office of county judge (court of sessions), and was elected. In one case which appeared before him, he sentenced some drunk and rowdy Indians to various degrees of punishment, and in another case he appealed to Benjamin D. Wilson, Captain of the Rangers (vigilantes) in Los Angeles, to see that justice was done for an Indian who had been wronged by some Los Angeles area Californios.14

Maurice A. Franklin joined his brother Lewis in San Diego in 1853. He had arrived in California in 1849, possibly with his cousins Selim, Lumley and Edward on the St. George in October.15 Maurice’s younger son stated that his father had gone to the gold fields upon his arrival and “devoted several years to mining.”16 Maurice had given up his share of the silversmith business to his brother Abraham, and had attended medical school for a brief period in London just before his departure for the Golden West.17 This background accounts for his establishing a pharmacy which he operated with his brother’s store and at the Franklin House in San Diego, as well as the drugstore which he had at a later period in San Bernardino. Maurice bought an interest in Lewis’ Tienda California and for several months the firm was operated as a partnership. During this period the local newspaper had this to say about Lewis and Maurice:

It gives us sincere pleasure to state that the Messrs. Franklin, the only “observing Jews” among a large number in our midst, have signified their willingness to close their place of business, not only on the Jewish Sabbath, which has always been their custom, but also on the Christian Sunday. It is so seldom that we witness such liberality on the part of religionists of any denomination, that it gives us sincere pleasure to record instances of this kind when they do transpire.18

Lewis having been admitted to the California Bar at the end of 1853, sold out his interest in the Tienda California to Maurice and prepared to make a trip to the East.19 He published a broadside in English and Spanish requesting “all persons indebted” to him to settle up on or before January 15, 1854. Maurice’s statement on the same notice informed the reader that he “respectfully solicits a continuance of public favor, as he intends carrying on the business in the old style, and under the firm [name] of Franklin & Co., ‘Tienda California.’ “. The broadside was dated January 2, 1854.20

Lewis soon returned to San Diego and resumed his mercantile activities with Maurice and also practiced law.21 It is to be noted that in the l850s lawyers in San Diego “were usually occupied in some other business as a necessity for there was little to retain them in the full-time pursuit of their profession.”22

Maurice became involved in the civic life of San Diego. In the spring of 1854 he was a member of a committee which devised plans to cut a road to Temecula.23 Later he was elected one of the directors of the San Diego and Gila Railroad Company which was founded to bring rail transportation to San Diego, to end the isolation of the town by land.24 That his efforts were appreciated is shown by an editorial comment stating that Maurice “has always been popular in this community and as he is a permanent resident and has solid investments here, he should, and will receive a large share of our favors.”25

One of Maurice’s advertisements placed in the local press in the spring of 1856, read in part as follows:

Maurice A. Franklin – Begs most respectfully to inform his friends and the public generally, that …he hopes by that assiduity and strict attention which has characterized his past success, to merit a continuance of public patronage. The present assorted stock, to which attention is invited, is of the newest style, selected expressly for this market and will receive fresh accession by every steamer from San Francisco. In order to meet the exigencies of the times, a bare remunerative percentage on San Francisco cost will be charged on all sales made for cash.26

Both Maurice and Lewis traveled to San Francisco from time to time to order goods for their store. On one of those trips Lewis gave a birthday present to the young daughter of a friend. On May 6, 1856, he presented a deed for a lot in the Playa section of San Diego to Ellen Cardozo, to commemorate the first birthday of that young lady. Lewis had apparently become friendly with Ellen’s father, Isaac N. Cardozo, an American-born Sephardic Jew, who had served in the California State Legislature in 1852. The lot was located in what is now the Point Loma area of San Diego. Isaac Cardozo, the uncle of the twentieth century United States Supreme Court Justice, Benjamin N. Cardozo, later became an influential figure in the Jewish and civic life of Saint Paul, Minnesota.27

In June, 1856, Maurice proposed marriage to Victoria Jacobs, who was just under eighteen years of age at that time. With her mother’s permission she agreed to marry Maurice, who then presented her with a small leather-bound blank diary. This diary was regularly confided to by Victoria during the latter half of 1856, and it constitutes a valuable record of the social life and values of a young girl in the early West.28 Victoria’s father was Mark I. Jacobs, a Polish-born, San Diego merchant, who had lived in England (Victoria had been born in Manchester) prior to emigrating to the United States. Victoria and Maurice were married on March 31, 1857, with the bride’s father officiating. The local press noted the event in this way:

Married. – On Tuesday, March 31, at the residence of and by the bride’s father, according to Jewish rites, Maurice A. Franklin, late of London, England, to Victoria, third daughter of Mark and Hannah Jacobs, late of Manchester, England.

In the new relation of husband and wife, may our friends find their cares lessened by sympathy and their joys multiplied by participation. May they be spared to each other to a good old age, and in the evening of life, when hanging with fond affection over the records of the past, may they be able to say, as they take a retrospective view of their lives, “O God, we have endeavored so to serve thee and keep thy commandments, as to entitle us to hope for a place in thy Kingdom, when we shall have ended this earthly pilgrimage.”29

The first son of Victoria and Maurice, Abraham M., was born on December 23, 1857. in the Franklin House.30 This structure, which had originally been a one-story adobe located on the Plaza in Old Town, San Diego, had been purchased by Lewis Franklin in July, 1855. In the early 1850s it had served as the Exchange Hotel. The Franklin brothers used the building as a store until the fall of 1857, when they agreed verbally to enter into a partnership in the “business of keeping a hotel and vending drugs.” Upon making this decision on October 11, they set about adding a second and third story to their adobe. This addition was constructed of wood and the remodeled building was soon known as the Franklin House, San Diego’s most important hotel and the town’s first three-story building.31

The brothers operated the hotel, which included a saloon, together, and Maurice operated a drug store in the building. The Maurice Franklins and Lewis also had their living quarters in the Franklin House.32 The saloon included a billiard table, and the brothers proudly advertised that “a passenger stage is dispatched on the arrival and departure of each steamer, thus affording facilities hitherto unknown in San Diego.”33

Unfortunately, the brotherly harmony only lasted for six months or less, and their partnership fell apart as a result of what was called by the district court, “their mutual misconduct and . . . a state of wrangling, discord, violence, and an irreconcilable ill will greatly detrimental to, and in the end, proving wholly inconsistent with the safe and profitable transaction of said business as partners.”34 By March 4, 1858, the brothers had come to a complete parting of the ways, Lewis sued Maurice for damages and requested that a receiver be appointed. The receiver, Joseph Reiner, operated the Franklin House for the benefit of the partners from May 5 until late in 1858. All was settled in favor of Lewis, with Maurice getting the supply of drugs and a horse and buggy, with which he and his wife and baby departed for San Bernardino in February, 1859.35

Lewis remained in San Diego and continued to operate the Franklin House and his law practice. An advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper informed the public that the stage for Los Angeles from San Diego “leaves Franklin House, every Friday.”36 In the spring of 1859 Lewis Franklin was named secretary of the county grand jury.37

In the fall of that year an incident occurred which drew the attention of Jewish people nationally to San Diego, due to Lewis’ efforts. The Jews of San Diego had rented quarters in which to conduct High Holy Day services, and Franklin officiated as the reader (Baal Koreh). On Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), October 8, 1859, a bare minyan (Quorum for full religious rites) of ten men was present for the services. One of the men was Moses Mannasse who had come to town from his San Pasqual rancho some thirty miles to the north. He had witnessed, on September 25, at Santa Ysabel, an assault on one Anthony Gering by two Indians. Mariane and Francisco, who were trying to rob Gering.38 The county grand jury was in session on October 8 hearing evidence on the assault by the two Indians. Learning that Mannasse was in town, they requested that the county judge, Daniel B. Kurtz, send for him to testify in the case.

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Reiner was dispatched to the place of worship and appeared there at the noon hour. He conveyed the request of the judge and grand jury for Moses Mannasse to come before them. and it was explained that it was impossible for Mannasse to accede to the request at that time because he was engaged in prayer on the most sacred day of the Jewish year. Reiner departed but appeared fifteen minutes later armed with a subpoena. The worshippers protested, undoubtedly led by Lewis Franklin, explaining “that Mr. Mannasse was indispensable to the requisite number to form our congregation, and that that apartment for the time being was a synagogue.”39

The faithful Reiner left again, but returned a third time one-half hour later and “laid hands on Mr. Mannasse.” This act was vigorously resisted by those present who informed the deputy that only force could “convey Mr. Mannasse from our midst.” The deputy departed but soon returned, augmented by a posse, who broke open the door and took Mannasse away.40 “The witness obtained, he refused to testify, and was committed by order of the court to the charge of the sheriff.”41 After sundown (the end of the Day of Atonement), Mannasse appeared before the grand jury and gave the testimony concerning the assault at Santa Ysabel.42

Lewis Franklin’s resentment and indignation at what he felt was an outrageous violation of Jewish civil and religious rights motivated him to protest these events vigorously. That he, and perhaps others, gave vent to verbal denunciations of what they consider to be the monstrous action of the judge and grand jury is but slightly indicated by the Herald’s subdued statement: “Several rencounters [hostile debates] have grown out of the affair . . . .”43 But Franklin did more. He wrote letters to a number of Jewish newspapers and individuals summarizing the events of that Yom Kippur in San Diego and in addition, gave his reasons for publicizing the affair.

I know not what feeling mostly actuates me, in recapitulating to you [ Rabbi Julius Eckman, editor of The Weekly Gleaner of San Francisco ] the occurrences which have disgraced civilization in this our remote little town of San Diego. Were I to say that unmitigated disgust fills my bosom, I would scarcely express myself, as a wrong of the nature I shall here recount to you, knows no parallel in the annals of the civilized world. An offence has been committed against all decency, and I, in common with all my coreligionists, call upon you to give publicity to the matter, so that the perpetrators may be marked with the rebuke of scorn by a free and independent press.44

Franklin’s letters appeared in The Weekly Gleaner of San Francisco (November 11, 1859), The American Israelite of Cincinnati (December 30, 1859), The Occident of Philadelphia (December 8 and 22, 1859), and the Southern Vineyard of Los Angeles (October 28, 1859). The missive in the last-named publication had been sent to Jacob L. Morris, a Los Angeles Jewish businessman, who was to serve on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in the 1860s.45 John J. Warner, who printed Franklin’s letter in his Southern Vineyard, and who had many close connections with San Diego, could hardly believe that the authorities there “so rashly and unnecessarily” gave occasion to “the charge of illiberality and oppression to a religious sect dwelling in our very midst.”46 He felt that judicial business should not have been transacted on days sacred to the Jewish people, as it was not carried on during Christian holy days, and that Jews “are entitled to as much consideration as any other class of our citizens.” He wrote that while State law did not provide any protection to Jews on their holy days, that harrassment on their most sacred day “savors too much of the spirit of persecution measured out to them in past ages.47

Rabbi Isaac Leeser of Philadelphia, editor of The Occident, in response to Franklin’s narration of the Yom Kippur occurrence, made reference to the San Diego judge who was apparently lacking in liberality and love of equality. Leeser editorialized that “it is but reasonable to expect of all public functionaries to permit us to spend one day in the year without molestation, in devotional exercises, as our religion demands . . . .”48 The Philadelphia editor took note, however, of the quite different view of Rabbi Julius Eckman of the affair.49

Julius Eckman had arrived in San Francisco in 1854, and at the beginning of 1857 had established The Weekly Gleaner. This Anglo-Jewish weekly was, in 1859, the only Jewish newspaper in the West, and Eckman was not only its editor-publisher, but the authoritative voice of Judaism for the whole of the Pacific Slope.50 Rabbi Eckman regarded the Yom Kippur incident from the standpoint of Jewish civil responsibilities. He felt that San Diego Jews had evidenced a lack of understanding of Jewish law and principles. The San Francisco rabbi wrote that if Moses Mannasse had wished to act in accordance with Jewish practice and “if more suasion could not have induced the judge or jury to respect his religious scruples and to dispense with his attendance on that day, he ought to have repaired to court when the [deputy] sheriff’ summoned him the first time.”51

Rabbi Eckman was unhappy about “the evil odor in which they [ San Diego Jewry ] have brought their coreligionists by their transgression of the laws of the land in so serious a matter as that of the administration of justice.” He referred to another incident which had also occurred on Yom Kippur that year, of a parallel nature, in San Francisco.52 Eckman felt that it was unfortunate that some Jewish individuals avoided court appearances on the Day of Atonement “under the supposition that such an attendance would be an infraction of the laws of our faith, and a desecration of the most holy day in our almanac.”

The idea is a wrong one; our principles and our laws command strict submission to the laws of the government under whose protection we live [ “The law of the country is law,” Dina malchuta dina. B.B. 54B, Ned. 28A, etc.], and the Hebrew is obliged to attend court on the Day of Atonement, if the law, or the representative of the law. is so exacting as not to allow an exception from attending . . .

If it be asked how the judge, in the San Diego case, could send the sheriff to the place of worship, we can only answer that it is for the judge to know what authority the law gives him in such matters; for it can hardly be supposed that his honor either willfully or ignorantly overstepped his power.

In the case at San Diego. the judge probably did not consider the room in which the Hebrews

were assembled a place of worship.53

Not only did Eckman object to the action of the San Diego worshippers on Yom Kippur, he disapproved of Lewis Franklin’s use of publicity to rebuke the San Diego judge and grand jury. Eckman’s statement clearly rejected Franklin’s methodology.

Our religion tells us that we may seek redress for a real or imagined encroachment or the law, by way of the law, where such is practicable; but abuse in the public thoroughfares and through the public press, is not the way of law. nor is such a mode of proceeding the proper method to correct public opinion.54

It is possible that Lewis Franklin’s indignant response to the Day of Atonement incident and his journalistic attack might have been influenced in part by a personal dislike for Daniel B. Kurtz, the presiding court of sessions judge, who had issued the subpoena for Moses Mannasse. Kurtz had succeeded Franklin as county judge in 1854, and had been re-elected each year thereafter up to the fall of 1859.55 Also, Kurtz was one of the three attorneys who defended Maurice Franklin in the bitter legal battle with Lewis.56

But apart from the acrimonious dispute which took place between Maurice and Lewis, in which the latter was the litigious aggressor, Lewis could be generally abrasive in his correspondence as shown by an incident occurring in 1853. James McMeans, editor of the Los Angeles Star, had written an editorial deploring the irregularity of the mail delivery (due twice a month in Los Angeles), and implying that those in charge could be more efficient in their work. This opinion called forth an abusive letter from Lewis Franklin, who was apparently quite satisfied with the mail service. McMeans wrote that he knew of no reason why he should have been sent “such an epistle” which he felt was outside the bounds of “good manners.”57

Sometime in 1860 or 1861, Lewis Franklin left San Diego for Baltimore. He apparently leased out his hotel, but he left California owing $2,980 to a fellow Jew, Joseph S. Mannasse, one of the important merchants of San Diego, who had probably been the principal source of supplies for the Franklin House. In 1862 a summons was served on Franklin in Baltimore by J. S. Mannasse & Company, the failure to answer which brought to a foreclosure the hotel property.58 Shortly thereafter Lewis returned to London where he went into business. On December 12, 1866, he married Emily Davis. Three children were born to them: Alfred, Miriam and Frank. Lewis A. Franklin died on June 16, 1879, at the age of fifty-nine.59

Joseph Mannasse used the Franklin House as a store for a time, and ten years later, on April 20, 1872, San Diego’s first three-story building was destroyed by a fire which had started in a nearby home, that of Rudolph Schiller.60

When Maurice Franklin and his family went to San Bernardino in early 1859, most of his wife’s relatives were already living there. In addition to her parents and siblings, Marcus Katz, her brother-in-law, was operating a thriving book and stationery store, he was the Wells Fargo agent for the town, and he was serving as the San Bernardino County Treasurer.61 Maurice opened a drugstore upon his arrival in San Bernardino and also established a photographic studio, which was located on the second floor, over the pharmacy. For a time he was in business with George A. Reich, the firm being called the San Bernardino Drug Store.62

The second son of the Maurice Franklins was born on October 19, 1859. and named Selim M. Two years later Victoria died while giving birth to her third child, who was also lost. She was twenty-three years old at the time of her passing on November 12, 1861, and she was interred in Home of Eternity Cemetery, where her monument may be seen today.63

In the spring of 1865 when his sons were seven and five years of age, Maurice decided to do something about their Jewish education. His action was termed a “Noble Example,” in the heading to the report describing it:

We learn that Mr. Franklin, of San Bernardino, has opened a Hebrew Free School for the benefit of the Jewish children in that locality. Such a praiseworthy undertaking is deserving of the highest commendation, and we hope that this noble example will be followed by our liberal-minded coreligionists in all sections of the country where such facilities are needed.64

A year later, at a festive Purim gathering, Maurice was presented with “a splendid silver pitcher,” as a token of the gratitude felt by the Jewish community for his work in instructing the Jewish children “without any compensation” in the “Hebrew language and religion . . . .”65 The inscription engraved on the pitcher read: “Presented to M.A. Franklin, Esq., by his coreligionists of San Bernardino, Ca1., Purim 5626, March 1866.” This award, presented by the San Bernardino Hebrew Benevolent Society, is now in the possession of a great grandson of the recipient, who lives in Orange County, California. Maurice was active in the benevolent society, serving as its secretary.66 He was also a member of the San Bernardino Lodge No. 146, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Maurice A. Franklin died on September 2, 1874 at age fifty-seven in San Francisco, where he had gone to seek medical care. He was interred next to his wife in San Bernardino’s Home of Eternity Cemetery. His obituary noted that he had been in poor health for four years. The resolution adopted by his Odd Fellows lodge referred to his noble virtues, generosity and unassuming modesty, all of which “inspired every acquaintance with respect, every friend with affection”67

Maurice’s two orphaned sons had been raised by their aunt, Mrs. Marcus Katz, after their mother’s death in 1861. Both became significant figures in Arizona Territory, where their uncles (Victoria’s brothers), Lionel and Barron Jacobs, were important pioneer business and civic figures. The older son, Abraham M. Franklin, enjoyed a lengthy career as a rancher, cattle buyer and real estate developer.68 The younger son, Selim M. Franklin, became a prominent attorney in Tucson, where his uncles were in business.69 He was elected to the territorial legislature of Arizona in 1884, and he wrote and “succeeded in getting passed” the measure establishing the territory’s institution of higher learning. For this work he was known as the father of the University of Arizona.70

In 1928, Abraham M. Franklin, Maurice’s older son, returned to San Diego for the first time since leaving with his parents in 1859. While enjoying a summer vacation with his family he decided to seek out the site of the Franklin House in O1d Town where he had been born in 1857. He was told that only a few years before part of the walls of the hotel were still standing. But in 1928, “there was nothing to be seen but a vacant lot.”71

The Franklin brothers of gold rush California who made San Diego their home for a few hectic years were typical of many such fraternal doublets who cooperated with one another, for a time, and, as with a few other pairs, eventually agreed to disagree. Though they were only three years apart in age, they were worlds apart in personality. Maurice and Lewis Franklin were typical of those Jewish individuals who made an historic impact on the early California communities which they graced, and who helped to establish and further some of the civic and Jewish institutions which gave depth and meaning to the Western experience.

 


NOTES

1. James Mills, “The Franklin House,” San Diego Historical Society Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 2, April 1956; Orion Zink, “The Exchange Hotel,” Ibid., October 1962.

2. “Benjamin A. Franklin” and “Jacob Abraham Franklin,” The Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume V, pp. 496-497; “Franklin” and “Selim Franklin,” The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia. Volume 4, pp. 412-415; Arthur Ellis Franklin, Records of the Franklin Family and Collaterals (London, 1915); David Rome, The First Two Years (Montreal, 1942),pp. 52-105; “The First Jew in Public Office” and “Lumley Franklin: Mayor of Victoria, “The Jewish Western Bulletin, British Columbia Centenary Edition, 1858-1958, Vancouver, June 30, 1958. pp. 5,56.

3. Three of Lewis Franklin’s sons, Selim, Lumley and Edward, who were first cousins of Lewis A. and Maurice A. FrankIin, the subjects of this study, came to San Francisco from London in 1849. Selim had equipped the St. George for the voyage (arrived in San Francisco in October, 1849). Selim and Lumley settled in Victoria, British Columbia in 1858. Selim Franklin (1814-1883) became a member of the provincial legislature; Lumley Franklin (1812-1873) was elected mayor of Victoria in 1866.

4. Arthur Ellis Franklin, op. cit.. pp. 21, 28. 47.

5. C. W. Haskins, TheArgonauts of California (New York, 1890), p. 491.

6. Seixas Solomons, The Occident, Philadelphia, October 1854, p. 371.

7. Asmonean, New York, November 30, 1849, p. 45; The Occident, Philadelphia, November 1849, p. 480. The Franklins were a deeply religious Jewish family. Lewis and Maurice’s brothers Jacob and Isaac were very active as Jewish leaders in Manchester, England, and Benjamin founded the Hebrew Benevolent Society at Kingston, Jamaica in 1851. The Jewish Encyclopedia, op. cit.: The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, op. cit.

8. Asmonean. New York, November 15, 1850, pp. 30-31.

9. San Diego Herald, August 21, 1851, November 20, 1851; James Mills, op. Cit., p. 24.

10. San Diego Herald, October 9, 1851. For further details on those Yom Kippur services of October 6, 1851, see Norton B. Stern and William M. Kramer, “The Rose of San Diego,” Journal of San Diego History. Vol. XIX, No. 4, Fall 1973, p. 35.

11. Noel M. Loomis, “The Garra Uprising of 1851,” Brand Book II: The San Diego Corral of the Westerners (San Diego, 1970). pp. 3-26.

12. San Diego Herald, April 17, 1852.

13. Ibid., December 4, 1852.

14. Ibid., August 13, 1853; Lewis A. Franklin, letter, to B. D. Wilson, August 5. 1853. Wilson Papers, Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

15. See note no. 3.

16. Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona (Chicago, 1901), p. 236. This is the biographical account of the Honorable Selim M. Franklin.

17. Mrs. John H. Carroll, Tucson. Arizona, letter, to the writer, June 24, 1973. Mrs. Carroll is a granddaughter of Maurice A. Franklin.

18. San Diego Herald, August 13, 1853.

19. It may be of interest to note that Lewis A. Franklin’s status as one of the pioneer attorneys of San Diego establishes him as the first Jewish lawyer in Southern California, and also the first Jewish professional man in the Southland.

20. Franklin House Case. No. 11, Box 15025, 1858, San Diego County Law Library.

21. San Diego Herald, October 25, 1854. November 18, 1854.

22. Marion H. Bressette. “Notes on the Franklin House Case” May 19, 1973, in possession of the writer. Mrs. Bressette is a researcher and librarian employed by the San Diego County Law Library, San Diego, California.

23. San Diego Herald. April 1, 1854.

24. Ibid.. October 11, 1856; Victoria Jacobs, Diary of a San Diego Girl—1856, edited by Sylvia Arden (Santa Monica, 1974), p. 68.

25. San Diego Herald, May 17, 1856.

26. Ibid.

27. San Diego County, Deeds, Book D, p. 218, December 23, 1853, wherein is recorded the purchase of the lot by Franklin from George H. Davis of San Diego; Indenture, May 6, 1856, San Francisco, Lewis A. Franklin to Isaac N. Cardozo, acting as trustee for Ellen N. Cardozo, conveying title to the lot. Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul.

28. The diary, which was carefully preserved by the descendants of Maurice and Victoria Franklin was published in 1974 as Diary of a San Diego Girl1856. op. cit.

29. San Diego Herald, April 4, 1857.

30. Ibid-. January 9, 1858.

31. Marion H. Bressette, op. cit.; James Mills, op. Eit.; Orion Zink, op. Eit., pp. 56f.

32. Franklin House Case, No. 11, op. cit.

33. San Diego Herald. February 6, 1858.

34. San Diego Judgement Book, pp. 42-86, L. A. Franklin vs. M. A. Franklin, District Court of the First Judicial District, State of California, December term, 1858, quoted by Marion H. Bressette, op. cit.

35. Ibid.; Abraham M. Franklin, “Reminiscences,” Arizona Historical Society Library, Tucson, Arizona; San Diego Herald, May 8, 1858. Some final minor details of the case of Franklin vs. Franklin were disposed of in the District Court by Judge Benjamin Hayes in the fall of 1859. Ibid., September 24, 1859.

36. Los Angeles Star. June 4, 1859.

37. San Diego Herald, April 16, 1859.

38. Ibid., October 22. 1859.

39. The Weekly Gleaner, San Francisco, November 11, 1859. See also San Diego Herald, October 15, 1859.

40. The Wcckly Gleaner, San Francisco, November 11, 1859.

41. San Diego Herald, October 15, 1859.

42. On October 17, 1859, Mariane and Francisco, the Indians who had been indicted for assaulting Anthony Gering, were tried and convicted. Mariane was sentenced to two years. Francisco to one year confinement in the state prison. Ibid., October 22, 1859.

43. San Diego Herald, October 15, 1859.

44. The Weekly Gleaner, San Francisco, November 11, 1859.

45. History of Los Angeles County California (Oakland, 1880), p. 51.

46. Southern Vineyard, Los Angeles, October 28, 185$. Warner arrived in Southern California in 1831, and had lived in San Diego County (Warner Springs), prior to settling in Los Angeles in 1857.

47. Ibid.

48. The Occident, Philadelphia, December 22, 1859.

49. It is obvious that Leeser had no desire to get into a dispute with the San Francisco rabbi (Eckman). He stated that “it is not our province to combat the . . . religious [decisions] of our California contemporary….” Ibid.

50. It was to Eckman, for example, that Marcus Schiller wrote announcing the establishment of a permanent congregation in San Diego in 1861, and asking for assistance with drawing up by-laws. This synagogue, which altered its name in the 1880s to Congregation Beth Israel, still exists as San Diego’s pioneer Jewish group. The Weekly Gleaner, San Francisco, July 12, 1861.

51. Ibid.. November 11, 1859. It is of interest to note that Moses Mannasse married out of the Jewish faith. He married Lucia Andrade, a member of a noted family of Sonora, Mexico. They had six children, one of whom, Simon Mannasse (1875-1971), claimed that when he and his siblings were baptized, his father “didn’t mind.” Simon Mannasse, biographical record and interviews, Serra Museum Library, San Diego Historical Society; Mary Rockwood Peet, Escondido, letter, December 13, 1974.

52. In that case, a Jewish juror, one Julius Levy, had failed to appear on the day set aside for the jury’s deliberations. Levy was found at one of the synagogues – it being Yom Kippur, October 8, 1859. He refused to accompany the deputy sheriff back to court, and was subsequently fined. The judge in the case was denounced by the San Francisco Bulletin. For a full discussion of this case, see San Diego Herald, October 22, 1859.

53. The Weekly Gleaner, San Francisco, November 4, 1859.

54. Ibid., November 11,1859. That San Diego Jewry accepted Rabbi Eckman’s reproval for their actions on Yom Kippur in 1859 is indicated by the friendly letter which was sent to him by the leader of the San Diego Jewish community, Marcus Schiller, less than two years later, on June 20, 1861, informing him of the organization of a congregation and asking for his assistance. It also implied a rejection of Lewis Franklin’s interpretation of the affair. Ibid., July 12, 1861.

55. William E. Smythe, History of San Diego 1542-1908 (San Diego, 1908), p. 723.

56. San Diego Judgement Book, op. cit.

57. Los Angeles Star October 22, 1853.

58. San Diego Judgement Book, op. cit., p. 86.

59. Arthur Ellis Franklin, op. cit.. pp. 28, 53.

60. San Diego Union, April 21, 1872. Rudolph Schiller, another pioneer Jew of San Diego, was one of the town’s first photographers and later engaged in the bookbinding trade there.

61. Norton B. Stern, editor, “Memoirs of Marcus Katz, ” Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly. October 1968, pp. 20-21. Katz served from 1857 to 1865 as county treasurer, being elected three times. He was Wells Fargo agent from 1858 to 1874.

62. The Guardian, San Bernardino. November 26, 1870; Pacific Coast Business Directory (San Francisco. 1870), “San Bernardino.”

63. Home of Eternity Cemetery is owned and operated by Congregation Emanu E1 of San Bernardino, it having been established in May, 1861, through the efforts of Marcus Katz.

64. The Hebrew, San Francisco, May 12, 1865.

65. Ibid., April 13, 1866.

66. Ibid. Though The Hebrew of San Francisco called it the San Bernardino Hebrew Benevolent Society, its correct name was Chebra Gemeluth Chesed, literally, the organization for the performance of deeds of loving kindness. The Guardian, San Bernardino, March 14, 1868.

67. Ibid. September 19, 1874.

68. Abraham M. Franklin, op. cit.; Dorothy and Elizabeth Franklin, interview, June 3, 1973. Dorothy and Elizabeth Franklin are daughters of Abraham Franklin; they reside in Laguna Hills, California.

69. Selim M. Franklin’s uncles had sent him to the University of California from which he was graduated in 1882, and he subsequently was graduated from the law school of the same institution in 1883. After his father died in 1874, Selim had attended Heald’s Business College in San Francisco. Directory of San Francisco, 1875, p. 383.

70. Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona. op. cit.; Mrs. John H. Carroll, interview, June 3, 1973. Mrs. Carroll is a daughter of Selim M. Franklin.

71. Abraham M. Franklin, op. cit.


Dr. Norton B. Stern, Santa Monica. attended U.C,L.A. and Santa Monica City College, and graduated from Los Angeles College of Optometry in 1943. He is the founder and editor of the Western States Jewish Historical Quarterly, published by the Southern California Jewish Historical Society, and is a lecturer, author and collector in the field of Western Jewish history. He has written a number of studies published in various historical journals, and is the author of California Jewish History—A Descriptive Bibliography(1967), Mannie’s Crowd (1970), and Baja California: Jewish Refuge and Homeland (1973). He also edited California Family Newmark, by Leo Newmark, M.D. (1970), and is the compiler of The Birth of Modern Los Angeles Jewry (1973). He was a certified principal, Los Angeles College of Jewish Studies (1955), and served as principal of Beth Sholom Religious School, Santa Monica (1954-1972).