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Jewish Life in Gold Rush San Francisco: A Letter from Julius Eckman to Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1855)
Letter from Julius Eckman to Solomon Nunes Carvalho
San Francisco, March 15, 1855
Julius Eckman letter, 1855, BANC MSS 2010/513, The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, The Bancroft Library
Julius Eckman (1805-1874), a graduate of the University and the Rabbinical College of Berlin and a pupil of Leopold Zunz, was the first Rabbi of Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco (1854-55) and the publisher of the Jewish journal, The Weekly Gleaner (1857-1863).
In 1855, Eckman wrote to Solomon Nunes Carvalho (1815-1897), the official photographer of explorer John C. Fremont's "fifth expedition" to the American West in 1853-1854, discussing the living conditions and the religious customs of the Jews in the city. In his letter, he mentions the celebration of a Jewish wedding feast in a San Francisco beer house.