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St. Louis, Missouri.—We arrived in St. Louis on the 12th of December, and soon discovered that there was a large body of Israelites residing here; who are, or at least were then, divided into three congregations; the original, or Polish, under the presidency of Mr. Mark Samuel, the German presided over by Mr. Myer Friede, and the Bohemian under Mr. Daniel Block. The first have a Synagogue in Fifth near Green, but the ground is only leased, and in four or five years the lease will expire, besides that it is on the west instead of the east side of the street. Just before our arrival an effort had been made to effect a union of the three bodies, to erect a suitable place of worship in which all could meet with satisfaction and edification; and, whilst we were there, hopes were entertained that the union would be brought about but we have not had a letter since our leaving from the parties’ having, the business in hand, and we cannot say, therefore, whether anything has been done. We regret to state that the Israelites of this flourishing city require a thorough reorganization, but little having as yet been done for religious instruction, except teaching a little Hebrew by the Rev. Edward Miers of the Fifth Street congregation at <<56>> such hours when his other duties give him leisure and opportunity.

But the necessity that something ought to be done is felt very strongly, and, we really believe, that as soon as the children, now mostly very young, advance a little further, when the want of training them to religion will be more apparent than it is now, something will be spontaneously done, if even till then affairs remain in their present condition. We know well enough that it is extremely difficult to bring about a good understanding and a concert of action, between persons who have come together, without any previous knowledge of each other, from all parts of the world, and who have, many of them, only lately settled in a distant city removed from any influence from abroad, wherefore public opinion has to spring up spontaneously among them before any good can be done. But, at the same time, we also convinced ourself that the sense of the people is after all right, and that it could easily be led into a proper channel, with a little forbearance and some patience to bear up against difficulties. As an evidence of the proper spirit, we mention that it having been announced that we would, by request, address the people at the Synagogue on Sunday afternoon, the 14th (there not having been time enough for a public announcement previous to the Sabbath), on the subject of uniting the congregations, more than a hundred persons assembled promptly, although the weather was fear­fully inclement, and we were scarcely known in person to more than ten persons in the whole assembly. We feel convinced that here, as well as elsewhere, the people are anxious to hear, and be instructed in, their religion, and we have not the vanity to suppose that they came to be edified by our eloquence; for, in truth, we spoke everywhere in the simplest manner, and merely touched on such topics as must be evident to the commonest understanding; and in the address to which we now allude, we only placed before the people the absurdity of keeping three organizations, when the Polish, German, and Bohemian customs hardly differ, except in the amount of poetical prayers to be recited on certain days, which prayers, if altogether omitted, would leave our worship not the less effective. In all other respects the religion not alone, but the forms are identical; and hence the evident impropriety to keep aloof from each other, by which all good works are checked, and estrangement of feelings quite uselessly kept up. We trust that the approbation given to our remarks, which extended nearly for an hour, have had more than a passing effect; at least we had cause for hope at the time we left St. Louis.

On the following Sabbath (Hanukkah), we spoke again, by request, <<57>> on the inroads which vain-glorious philosophy has lately made among us, just as it did in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, when we were nearly exterminated, only that God used up pious men of might in the family of the Asmoneans, who, aided by hearts as heroic as theirs, restored the worship to the profaned temple; and we drew hence a happy presage for the future, that religion will resume again her empire, through the instrumentality of the few who will, at all times, remain true to their covenant with the Lord; since in all the transgressions of Israel, there never were wanting those who, though but unimportant as regards numbers and standing, stood firm in the defence of the religion which we have received from the hand of God.

Owing to the sudden setting in of rigorous winter in the middle of December, we were detained at St. Louis much beyond the time we originally contemplated. We found a remarkable degree of comfort among the Israelites of the place, as we understood that among a population of about a thousand souls or more, there is but one old man, afflicted with disease, who is dependent on charity. It is not more than about twelve years since our people resorted hither in considerable numbers; and still we found that several had accumulated a considerable amount of wealth in view of their former circumstances, and that they will undoubtedly advance in consideration with their fellow‑citizens. They are chiefly engaged in commerce, dry goods, clothing, millinery, cap-making, jewelry, and grocery business, and but few are mechanics, as far as we could learn. Some are professional men, lawyers and doctors; and a full average of intelligence is discoverable among them. Hence, we hope not for too much in stating that there are in St. Louis elements of greatness which can readily be developed, provided only they cultivate among themselves union and mutual forbearance. And we trust that these will not be wanting, and that our remarks may be received in the same spirit of friendship with which they are offered. We must thank bur friends also for the considerable ' addition to our list which we obtained among them.

Quincy, Illinois.—While in St. Louis, we were told by a resident of Quincy, that the Israelites of the place had commenced a congrega­tional organization, by electing a Shochet, and we have full confidence that with this, the good work is not considered finished. In all the towns within several hundred miles of St. Louis, on the Upper Mississippi, Missouri, Illinois rivers, and the lake shores, Israelites are assembling, and the apparent necessity of a union will unquestionably induce them before long to establish congregations in every direction.

<<58>>
Detroit, Michigan.—A letter before us speaks as follows: “As regards our congregation here, it counts only a very limited number of members, and is of a quite recent organisation. Several men having moved here with their families, some time last year, the total want of all opportunities for the religious instruction of their children was severely felt, especially as their business called them away from home most of the time. Subsequently, at a meeting called among those few Jews residing here, twelve in number, it was resolved to engage a teacher and Shochet, and also to buy a piece of ground for a burial-place. The incidental expenses, though considerable, were contributed with a good deal of liberality, and the above resolution was carried out. The number of our members has since then increased to eighteen. The prospects for erecting a Synagogue are rather remote yet; for, being so few in number, it will have to be deferred to a later and more auspicious period.” Our readers will see that, at all events, a beginning has been made; and if we view the rapid increase of American cities it is not too much to predict that the Israelites will not overlook Detroit, as a place well calculated to promote their material prosperity, and that hence the eighteen now there, will not be left so entirely dependent on their own resources, as they now deem themselves.

Memphis, Tennesee.—We found here about twenty families and many single men; but we regretted to perceive that except the bene­volent society, and the association to take charge of the burying-ground, presented by Mr. Andrews, there had not been any regular organization, though they had occasionally met for prayers. But we spoke with several persons who seemed anxious to institute a regular congre­gation, and we trust that they have succeeded before this. There are many Israelites all around Memphis, and if a place of worship is once opened with a proper minister, we are sure that it can be easily supported.

Bolivar, Tennessee.—We learned that during the last holy-days, the people of the vicinity met at Bolivar for prayers. We have not heard the particulars attending the occasion; but we chronicle the mere fact, since at some future day, those who come after us may perhaps refer to this simple announcement, as containing the first trace of a prosperous congregation.

Galveston, Texas.—We are permitted to lay before our readers the following extract, from a letter dated at Galveston. “I have taken up my pen to inform you of what the Remnant of Israel are doing thus far south, namely, in the state of Texas. There are not many <<59>> Jews in the state; but still you will find a sprinkling of them in every village; some are adhering to our faith, others again are intermarried with gentiles.

“I must not omit to mention a circumstance which happened in our city. A Mr. E. Cohen, lately from England, having a son born to him, concluded with a praiseworthy courage to perform the circumcision himself, on the eighth day, as we have no Mohel nearer than New Orleans. People endeavoured to persuade him to wait till the child could be taken thither, or a Mohel be sent for. But he replied, that our Father Abraham performed this duty on the eighth day, why should he not do it also? He therefore did as he contemplated, in the presence of a surgeon; and the child is doing well.” So far our correspondent; and we are sure that the faithful will applaud Mr. Cohen’s act of faith.