Jewish Auctioneers

East Bay Street at Vendue Range

A commercial hub of Jewish auctioneers, clothiers, and dry goods merchants

“Vendue” means public auction, and, not surprisingly, many auctioneers were located here. Among those near the corner of East Bay and Vendue in the 1820s and ’30s were several Jewish men. By the 1840s, there was also at least one female trader in the neighborhood—widowed businesswoman Sarah Solomons. Among the Jewish merchants on Vendue were Moses Cohen Mordecai, Levi J. Moses, Samuel Hart, Sr., and Abraham Tobias, who lived on King Street. Another auctioneer, Abraham Ottolengui, was located on Vendue (or Vendue Range, as it was sometimes called). While these individuals shared the same profession, their religious affiliations ranged from staunch to moderate reform, to strictly traditional. Samuel Hart, Sr., for example, served as president of the breakaway Orthodox congregation Shearit Israel, while M. C. Mordecai led the organ faction in 1840 and served as parnas, or president, of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim during the Civil War.