J. Lewisohn


St. Matthews, SC 29135

FAMILIES: Lewisohn

Ludwig Lewisohn, South Carolina Encyclopedia

In 1899, the Lewisohn family was residing in Berlin, Germany where the family patriarch, Jacques (born 1860), had just lost his inheritance in a failed business venture. Around that time, Jacques’ brother-in-law, Siegfried Eloesser (1852-1932), penned a letter to the Jewish Berliners saying he had “prospered moderately” in St. Matthews, South Carolina. On October 20, 1890, Jacques Lewisohn, his wife, Minna Eloesser Lewisohn, and their son, Ludwig Lewisohn (1883-1955), arrived in New York. On April 5, 1891, The State reported that “J. Lewisohn has opened up a stock of general merchandise in the new building adjoining Cain’s store and is well equipped for a good business.” While Jacques Lewisohn sold fruits, hats, groceries, and dry goods to provide for his family, they stayed at the house of Minna’s younger brother, Siegfried Eloesser. After nearly two years as a merchant in St. Matthews, the Lewisohn family relocated to Charleston, South Carolina where they remained for at least the next decade. As an adult, Ludwig Lewisohn, one of the most famous Jewish authors of the 20th century and a founder of Brandeis University, credited part of his strong Jewish identity to his formative years in predominantly Christian St. Matthews, South Carolina.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918