March 3, 1801

On March 3rd, 1801, David Emmanuel took office as the elected Governor of the state of Georgia. There has been the reoccurring rumor that he and his family were Jewish, and that would have made him the first Jewish governor in the United States. This was based upon hearsay and the preponderance of Old Testament names in his family tree. It has also been posited that David Emmanuel’s heritage wasn’t Jewish, but was in fact, Welsh, and more likely a Presbyterian instead of Jewish. A family researcher found that his family was closely associated with a Welsh community that had settled in Pennsylvania, and that there was the strong likelihood that he was a grandson of Emmanuel Jones of Wales. When the people of Georgia learned that their second Governor might be Welsh, instead of Jewish, they emphatically said, “Nope. He’s Jewish. Those Jewish people are good folk. Yep, he’s Jewish.” Just so you know, a lot of Scots and Brits settled in Georgia.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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