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Jacob I. Cohen


Miniature portrait on ivory of Jacob I. Cohen (1744-1823), ca. 1780, by Abraham (ca.1750-1806) or Joseph (ca.1760-1803) Daniel. Cohen was born in Oberdorf, Germany, and was the first of his family to immigrate to American when he arrived in 1773. He originally settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania before moving to Charleston South, Carolina, home to a large Jewish community. During the American Revolution, Cohen served in the Charleston Regiment of Militia. Despite only having a few members of Jewish descent in his outfit, his company became known as "The Jew Company." After the war, he moved to Philadelphia for a few years before coming to Richmond to open a successful dry goods store. Cohen spent his last years in Philadelphia. Upon his death in 1823, he freed his slaves and willed $25 to each of them. He is buried in Mikvah Israel Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.




circa 1780


Paint, ivory, metal


1.75 x 3.25 inches

Resource ID


Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Harriet Cohen Coale

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.