Bonnie K. Goodman
Historian, Librarian, and Journalist

Judah P. Benjamin and the Jewish goal of whiteness in the antebellum South

Senator Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana in 1856. Source: Wikipedia
Senator Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana in 1856. Source: Wikipedia
Senator Judah P. Benjamin of Louisiana in 1856. Source: Wikipedia

On November 21, 1861, former Senator Judah P. Benjamin took on the position that would define his place American history, Secretary of War in the Confederate States of America,  a position that determined not only the course of the Civil War the rebel Southern states and the Northern Union states but the rise of anti-Semitism in America. Benjamin was one of the South’s loyal Jews, who took up preeminent positions in the new Confederate nation, reaching ranks that were unheard for Jews anywhere even in the North. Benjamin in his cabinet positions throughout the war as Attorney General, Secretary of War and Secretary of State essentially served in the most important one being Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ right-hand man and acting president at times. As historian Eli N. Evans author of the most prominent biography of Benjamin entitled Judah P. Benjamin, the Jewish Confederate analyzes, “Benjamin served Davis as his Sephardic ancestors had served the kings of Europe for hundreds of years, as a kind of court Jew to the Confederacy. An insecure President [Davis] was able to trust him completely because, among other things, no Jew could ever challenge him for leadership of the Confederacy.” [i] However, as Evans indicates, “A man of his analytical skills and personal dynamism, acknowledged by scholars to have been one of America’s most brilliant legal minds and most arresting orators, could never have served  merely as ‘Mr. Davis’ clerk or administrative assistant.” [ii] Benjamin was a great legal mind, orator, and “the brains of the Confederacy,” the Jew at “the very center of Southern history,” “in the eye of the storm that was the Civil War,” who remained in the “shadow” but took the fall as the Confederacy failed in the war. [iii]

In the antebellum South, Southern Jews who adhered to the social norms mostly were spared anti-Semitism, which race more important than religion, for Jews being white, led to increased social acceptance and minimal anti-Semitism. In America with the promise of religious freedom, race as opposed to religion divided society and nowhere was that more true in the South were slavery reign and even the poorest of whites saw their social status rise by virtue of their whiteness. Jews in the upper classes especially saw this as their ticket to freedom from persecution that haunted them in Europe. Assimilation into Southern life was the best way for Jews to attain acceptance with their Southern Christian counterparts. Abraham J. Peck in his article, “That Other ‘Peculiar Institution’: Jews and Judaism in the Nineteenth Century South” explains that assimilation meant, “Whereby a minority takes on many of the values and practices of the majority group.” Peck believes assimilation “was indeed possible for Southern Jewry, and may have been their only choice.” [iv] It happened supporting the slavery and then the Confederacy was ticket to that acceptance for Jews living in the South and they took advantage of everything their whiteness could offer them in America.

Benjamin adhered to Southern norms including support of slavery, being a plantation owner and slaveholder and religiously assimilated. As Robert Rosen author of The Jewish Confederates notes, “Judah Benjamin is a great example of how Southern Jews were assimilated into Southern Society. But of course they accepted all the values of that society, including slavery.” As with other Southern Jews they had show, they were more devoted and loyal to the south and Confederacy than their Christian counterparts to hold onto to that acceptance. Evans describes, “Benjamin as a Jew would have to be more loyal to the Cause than anyone else—more outspoken in the Cabinet, more courageous, and willing to wage war with the energy that total war demanded. And if he understood Jefferson Davis, loyalty to the President as the symbol to the Cause was the measure of a man’s worth to the Confederacy.” [v] Benjamin’s loyalty and adherence to Southern norms was the reason he was able to advance and in his political career despite his religion.

The acceptance Southern Jews experienced prior to war, which allowed Benjamin to rise in the ranks of American politics and in the Confederate cabinet disappeared as the situation became desperate in the Civil War, especially in the South where Christian Fundamentalism took over and anti-Semitism reared its head. Most of the anti-Semitism that spewed over to Southern Jewry during the war stemmed from Benjamin’s power and rank within the Confederacy and the missteps, blockade, and military defeats for which he took the blame. In the North, the attacks against Benjamin were commonplace even before the war. American Jewish historian Bertram W. Korn in his seminal book, American Jewry and the Civil War recounted, “Almost every political opponent of Judah P. Benjamin referred to his name and faith. A typical case was that of Nicholas Davis of Alabama who, in the heat of a political campaign, denounced the Louisiana Senator as that ‘infamous Jew… Judas P. Benjamin ….’” [vi]

Benjamin was the most influential Jew in American government as Evans indicates, He “achieved greater political power than any other Jew in the nineteenth century — perhaps even in all American history.” According to Kurt F. Stone in his book, The Jews of Capitol Hill, A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members, “Without question, Judah P. Benjamin is one of the most fascinating, accomplished, and talented individuals ever to grace the American political stage.” [vii] Evans also points out, “Judah P. Benjamin was called ‘the dark prince of the Confederacy’ by Stephen Vincent Benet in John Brown’s Body.” [viii] However, Benjamin faces obscurity in history because the very private Benjamin burnt all his papers but six pages, a “virtual incendiary,” leaving little record of his work for historians. Even Jefferson Davis scantily wrote about his “confident” in his 1500 page memoirs, one of the two comments Davis wrote about Benjamin was “Mr. Benjamin, of Louisiana, had a very high reputation as a lawyer, and my acquaintance with him in the Senate had impressed me with the lucidity of his intellect, his systematic habits and capacity for labor.” [ix]

Daniel Brook in his article, “THE FORGOTTEN CONFEDERATE JEW How history lost Judah P. Benjamin, the most prominent American Jew of the 19th century” says it is the reason why “in every age, a heroic sage struggles to rescue Benjamin from obscurity—and invariably fails.”[x]  There are no controversial monuments to Benjamin as there were for the other Confederate political and military heroes and during his lifetime, his likeness appeared on the Confederate two-dollar bill, the only Jew to have that honor in American history. Historian Jonathan Sarna explains, “Non-Jews didn’t make statues of him because he was a Jew, and Jews didn’t make statues of him because he was intermarried and not really associated with the Jewish community. He kind of lost both sides.” [xi]

The literature on Benjamin is very shallow. It includes Judah P. Benjamin by Pierce Butler first published in 1906, Rollin Osterweis’ 1933 volume Judah P. Benjamin: Statesman of the Lost Cause, Robert D. Meade’s 1944 biography, Judah P. Benjamin and the American Civil War, Martin Rywell’s Judah Benjamin: Unsung Rebel Prince from 1948, and S.I. Nieman’s 1963 biography, Judah Benjamin: Mystery Man of the Confederacy. The most complete biography is Southern historian Eli Evans 1989 book, Judah P. Benjamin, the Jewish Confederate. Most recently in 2015, Don Lankiewicz wrote about Benjamin escape from America as the Confederacy surrendered and the Confederate Cabinet became fugitives accused of treason with the book Journey to Asylum: Judah Benjamin’s Great Escape. Two recent articles specifically examined Benjamin’s views and convictions on the two institutions he based his future on slavery and secession. Maury Wiseman’s 2007 article “Judah P. Benjamin and Slavery and Geoffrey D. Cunningham’s 2013 article “‘The ultimate step:’ Judah P. Benjamin and secession” attempt to determine his positions on slavery and slavery based primarily on public published addresses. Both historians determined that Benjamin’s devotion to slavery and secession was rooted in the law and predominantly the Constitution.

Evans finds that the Butler and Meade biographies are the “standard biographies of Benjamin.” Butler looked at Civil War orders and letters Benjamin sent that he could not destroy and interviewed those who knew him including Varina Howell Davis, who knew him better than anybody else except for Jefferson Davis, who towards  the end of her life expressed, Benjamin’s “greatness was hard to measure… I loved him dearly.” While Meade also looked, “diaries, memoirs, and papers” including letters and he interviewed Benjamin’s family. Neither Butler nor Meade looked at his Jewish identity, gliding by his Jewishness. [xii] Francis Lawley who covered Washington and Richmond for the London Times during the Civil War was fascinated with Benjamin and was researching to write a biography but never completed his attempt. Lawley’s letters to Varina Howell Davis provided insight to Benjamin’s views of Jefferson Davis.

Very few of the books look at Benjamin as a Jew, how his Jewish identity affected his political career and his role in the Confederate cabinet. Non-Jewish biographers were mostly anti-Semitic and stayed away from disc using Benjamin’s religion. Additionally, for many years American Jewry distanced themselves from Benjamin and his participation in the South’s rebellion, however, there was a resurgence of interest in the Confederacy in the 1930s and American Jews followed suit. Most Jewish historians stayed away from Benjamin because “he was incomprehensible as a Jewish figure.” As Evans explains, “As a Confederate leader who once owned 140 slaves, he was to those historians part of a failed culture, not a Jew  whom scholars  of American Jewish history could explain, and therefore it was easier to dismiss him as Jewish than try to probe him and understand him as an integral figure  in American Jewish history.” [xiii]

Early views of Benjamin’s Jewishness came from Max J. Kohler 1905 biography, Judah Benjamin: Statesman and Jurist, where he called Benjamin, “Hebrew in blood, English in Tenacity and grasp of purpose.” [xiv] Max Raisin writing in his 1923 book, A History of Jews in Modern Times, referred to Benjamin as the “right hand of President Jefferson Davis, sat a Jew to whom was attributed the distinction of being the ‘brains of the Confederacy,’” a man “almost fanatical in his Southern patriotism … who never for a moment lost the confidence of the President who, more than upon any other member of his official family, leaned upon him in all the weightiest of problems.” [xv]

American Jewish historian Bertram W. Korn analyzed Benjamin in his 1949 journal article; “Judah P. Benjamin as a Jew” for the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society examining Benjamin’s attachment to Judaism and the Southern Jewish community looking at “What kind of Jew Judah P. Benjamin actually was.” [xvi] Benjamin Kaplan in his essay entitled “Judah Phillip Benjamin” touched on his connection to Judaism superficially but with an American Jewish historical context. Kaplan called Benjamin a “wandering Jew, an exotic and mysterious personality, is one of contradictions, controversies, and legend,” who was “Hated by his opponents, adored by his friends, charming, aggressive, egotistical, and brilliant, one of the most powerful and enduring forces of the Confederacy, he was a man acquainted with grief, tortured with doubt about his mission in life.” [xvii] Although more recently surveys of American Jewish history and in Southern Jewry mention Benjamin, the only full-length book to examine Benjamin in the context of his religion is Evans’ Judah P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confederate  and Evans makes it part of his thesis.

Benjamin wanted historical obscurity he destroyed all his letters and papers, some when he escaped Richmond in 1865, the remaining before his death leaving just six pieces. Late in his life in 1884, when a biographer asked for his papers, Benjamin bluntly and defiantly replied in a letter, “I have no materials available for your purpose. … I would much prefer that no ‘Life,’ not even a magazine article should ever be written about me….  I have never kept a diary or retained a copy of a letter written by me … for I have read so many American biographies which reflected only the passions and prejudices of their writers, that I do not want to leave behind me letters and documents to be used in such a work about myself.” [xviii] Benjamin spent so many years vilified he did not want to give biographers and historians greater opportunity but in destroying his papers he is left a mystery making it easier for history to do what Benjamin feared or even worse forget him almost entirely. Without his personal papers and records it becomes difficult to criticize Benjamin, because there is not enough to work from to do so only the public image his carefully constructed at the time.

The documents that remain are law reports, limited legal documents, published speeches, newspaper reports, proceedings from the Senate and Confederate Records and correspondence giving a public picture of Benjamin but not his private thoughts and convictions. Some correspondence remains from those to whom he wrote and who saved the letters every nugget gives a bit of insight into Benjamin the man, versus the jurist and politician. As MacMillan notes, “While sources allow a reconstruction of Benjamin’s life and his enormous influences, they largely fail to provide insight into Benjamin’s thoughts, perceptions and motivations.” [xix] About 100 letters from the 1850s until 1861 from Benjamin to New York banker Peter Hargous were recently discovered and Hargous family donated in 2009 to American Jewish Historical Society. The letters were from Benjamin’s times as a railroad prospector. The letters reveal inward concerns and despite his outward confidence, Benjamin was conflicted about secession, civil war and the Confederacy. The letters show a side of Benjamin historians has seen little of, Evans remarks, “It has a voice that I’d never heard from him before, very blunt and very down, talking about failure in unadorned, unflowery language.” [xx]

The South for many years blamed Benjamin for the South’s fall as the “Brains of the Confederacy,” the North considered him the South’s “evil genius,” and the “Sphinx of the South”  while Jewish historians early on refused to acknowledge the traitor in American history and still consider him “One of the most misunderstood figures in American Jewish history.” Part of the reason early American Jewish historians avoided Benjamin was his support for slavery. Evans points out, “Benjamin was fascinating because of the extraordinary role he played in Southern history and the ways in which Jews and non-Jews reacted to him. He was the prototype of the contradictions in the Jewish Southerner and the stranger in the Confederate story, the Jew at the eye of the storm that was the Civil War. Objectively, with so few Jews in the South at the time, it is astonishing that one should appear at the very center of Southern history.” [xxi]

Benjamin lived in obscurity after his death as he did in the historical record never taking credit in death, as he did not in life for his significant role in the rise and fall of the Confederacy and the course of the American Civil War. Benjamin represents a symbol of both the religious tolerance in the antebellum South to Jews because they were white especially those that were upper class and the worse revival of the evil scrooge anti-Semitism at its worst in America. Early on Benjamin learnt what he had to do for his ticket to the success he craved; assimilate. Benjamin assimilated and adapted every facet of his life in the way in that would help him succeed keeping his real views secret and espousing those most advantageous in aiding him in his rise to prominence, and as with other Southern Jews he overdid everything to rise above the fact he was a Jew.

From his humble beginnings, Benjamin’s brains and determination to excel academically brought him to Yale where he had a taste of the elite. Identifying his shortcomings in status and wealth, Benjamin married a woman whose family and religion would detract from his Jewishness and open doors to the upper echelons on New Orleans society. He associated and co-wrote his legal treatise with a man whose family had political legal connections in the city. The connections Benjamin made and his brilliant legal mind helped propel him to career and financial success. He purchased a plantation making it the grandest in Louisiana. He excelled in his political defying American acceptance of Jews at the time to the heights of the Senate, a Supreme Court and an ambassador nomination and to the top of the Confederate cabinet the right hand of the president because his overzealous support of slavery, states’ rights and secession.

Benjamin worked harder for success in political and his legal career to gain acceptance with the need to go beyond what others did, and those attributes were noticed. When elected to the Senate Benjamin was described as having a “fine imagination … exquisite taste, great power of discrimination, a keen, subtle logic, excellent memory” and “admirable talent of analysis.” [xxii] Later Confederate First Lady Varina Davis would describe Benjamin saying he “seemed to have an electric sympathy with every mind with which he came into contact.” Despite the anti-Semitic attacks he encountered in his career Benjamin said he had “the most courteous manner” and that “I have endeavoured, upon all occasions, that my manner towards my brother Senators should be such that whilst we differ in opinion . . . there should be left no sting behind in the debates which might occur between us, that none but the kindliest and best feelings may exist.” [xxiii]

Still, Benjamin remained an outsider as a Jew, who like the rest of Southern Jewish population trued to be more devoted, loyal and fervent in all the South’s institutions and social constructs to avoid anti-Semitism. Legal scholar Catharine MacMillan even concurs, “Benjamin’s life, it is also argued, demonstrates how some individuals can ‘overcome’ the initial marginalization which attends the circumstances of their birth to move within the mainstream of society.”[xxiv] Historians agree that Benjamin’s ability to turn his “weakness into strength” led to his success and his “perseverance in the face of adversity.” [xxv] Although historians claim he was never fanatical his zeal was still there, the willingness to go beyond the support necessary publicly if not privately was his ticket to his rise to not only the cabinet of the new Confederate States of America but as the president’s Jefferson Davis’ right-hand man.

As with other Southern Jews, they felt they had to be more loyal and go beyond for their support of the Confederacy to prove to their Christian counterparts their fidelity to the cause. Benjamin’s whiteness helped contribute to his success especially in the South. As MacMillan indicates, Benjamin lived in an era when he had the basic attributes (he was male and white) in which he could participate in civic society in the United States and the United Kingdom. This was a necessary pre-condition for success, without which all personal attributes would be meaningless.” [xxvi] Although Benjamin “was a nonpracticing Jew, he never attempted to deny his faith,” Evans argues, “Benjamin thus must stand as a symbol of American democracy and its openness to religious minorities…. Benjamin was the main beneficiary of that emancipation and its most visible symbol in America.” [xxvii] Benjamin’s political career amounted to many historical firsts for American Jews which Evans called a “watershed” because he became the first Jew “to be projected into the national consciousness.” At the start of the Civil War Southern Jews “were especially proud of his achievements, because he validated their legitimacy as Southerners.” [xxviii]

Benjamin’s success mirrored the acceptance of Southern Jewry, his failing in the Civil War as Secretary of War mirrored the rise of anti-Semitism in the South as the Confederacy lost battles and the blockade forced the mostly Jewish merchants to increase the prices, it was Benjamin Southerners blamed and had their ire. Benjamin took the responsibility for the fall of the Confederacy and the South losing the war; the country went as far as to blame Benjamin for conspiring and planning President Lincoln’s assassination. Benjamin always faced anti-Semitic attacks throughout his political career but he became the ultimate scapegoat, as Evans recounts, “A nation of Christ-haunted people searched instinctively for the Jewish scapegoat, who would make the myth complete. The Easter sermons mourning Lincoln would define Benjamin in the legend, should he be capture. The phrase “Christ-killer” had to be lodged in Benjamin soul a latent childhood memory.” [xxix] Despite Benjamin’s treason to the union, the characterization Americans had for Benjamin was a resurgence of European anti-Semitism blaming the Jews for Christ and for anything that went wrong.

Benjamin preferred historical obscurity rather perpetuate the anti-Semitic attacks against him and in the larger context America’s Jews, because for Christians and Jews alike he represented American Jewish success. By burning all his papers and never writing a memoir he also refused to defend himself, he denied American and Jewish history the ability to put his life and career, his success and failure into historical perspective. Benjamin’s life was filled with contradictions and the theories about Benjamin in the scant amount of literature published are just that theories and assertions. No historian will ever know the true Benjamin, what drove him, how he really felt about slavery, the Confederacy or Judaism, he will always remain an enigma…READ MORE 


Brook, Daniel. “THE FORGOTTEN CONFEDERATE JEW How history lost Judah P. Benjamin, the most prominent American Jew of the 19th century.” Tablet Magazine, July 17, 2012.

Butler, Pierce. Judah P. Benjamin. Philadelphia: George W. Jacobs and Co., 1907.

Cunningham, Geoffrey D.”“The Ultimate Step:” Judah P. Benjamin and Secession.” American Jewish History, vol. 97 no. 1, 2013, pp. 1-19. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/ajh.2011.0020

Davis, Jefferson. The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1881.

Davis, William C. “A Government of Our Own”: The Making of the Confederacy. New York: The Free Press, 1994.

Dinnerstein, Leonard and Mary Dale Palsson, eds. Jews of the South, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973.

Downey, Arthur T. The Creole Affair: The Slave Rebellion That Led the U.S. and Great Britain to the Brink of War. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

Evans, Eli N. Judah P. Benjamin, the Jewish Confederate. New York: Free Press, 1989.

Feldberg, Michael. Blessings of Freedom: Chapters in American Jewish History. Hoboken, NJ: KTAV Publishing House in association with the American Jewish Historical Society, 2002.

Ginsburg, Ruth Bader. “Remarks for Jewish Council for Public Affairs in appreciation for the Albert D. Chernin Award. February 18, 2002.

KAHN, EVE M.  “Letters Reveal Doubts of Senator Judah Benjamin. The New York Times, December 31, 2009.

Korn, Bertram W. American Jewry and the Civil War. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001.

Korn, Bertram W. “JUDAH P. BENJAMIN AS A JEW.” Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, vol. 38, no. 3, 1949, pp. 153–171. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Korn, Bertram W. The Early Jews of New Orleans. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 1969.

Meade, Robert Douthat. Judah P. Benjamin: Confederate Statesman. New York: Oxford University Press, 1943.

MacMillan, Catharine. “Judah Benjamin: marginalized outsider or admitted insider?” Journal of Law and Society, 42 (1), 2015, pp. 150-172. doi:

Nadell, Pamela S. and Jonathan D. Sarna, eds. Women and American Judaism: Historical Perspectives. Hanover N.H.: University Press of New England, 2001.

Rosen, Robert N. The Jewish Confederates. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2000.

Sarna, Jonathan D, and Adam Mendelsohn. Jews and the Civil War: A Reader. New York: New York University Press, 2010.

Silverman, Jason H. “‘The Law of the Land is the Law’ Antebellum Jews, Slavery, and the Old South,” in  Struggles in the Promised Land: Toward a History of Black-Jewish Relations in the United States, edited by Jack Salzman and Cornel West. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Singer, Jane. The Confederate Dirty War: Arson, Bombings, Assassination, and Plots for Chemical and Germ Attacks on the Union. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co, 2005.

Stone, Kurt F. The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, Inc, 2011.

Lauren F. Winner, “Taking up the cross: conversion among black and white Jews in the Civil War South” in Catherine Clinton, ed. Southern Families at War: Loyalty and Conflict in the Civil War South. Oxford [England]; New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Wikipedia. “Judah P. Benjamin.”

Wiseman, Maury. “Judah P. Benjamin and slavery.” American Jewish Archives Journal, 59, 1-2, 2007, 107-114.


[i] Jane Singer. The Confederate Dirty War: Arson, Bombings, Assassination, and Plots for Chemical and Germ Attacks on the Union. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co, 2005, 10.

[ii] Eli N. Evans, Judah P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confederate. New York: Free Press, 1988, xi.

[iii] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, xiii.

[iv] Abraham J. Peck, “That Other ‘Peculiar Institution’: Jews and Judaism in the Nineteenth Century South,” Modern Judaism, Vol. 7, No. 1, Feb. 1987, 99-114, 100.

[v] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, 121.

[vi] Bertram W. Korn, American Jewry and the Civil War. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 2001, 158.

[vii] Stone, Kurt F. The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, Inc, 2011, 37.

[viii] Jonathan D. Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn. Jews and the Civil War: A Reader. New York: New York University Press, 2010, 37

[ix] Dinnerstein, Jews of the South, 85, Jefferson Davis, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1881), I, 242.

[x] Daniel Brook, “THE FORGOTTEN CONFEDERATE JEW How history lost Judah P. Benjamin, the most prominent American Jew of the 19th century.” Tablet Magazine, July 17, 2012.


[xii] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, xiv, xviii.

[xiii] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, xvi.

[xiv] Sarna, Jews and the Civil War: A Reader, 22, Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, 138.

[xv] Sarna, Jews and the Civil War: A Reader, 22, Max Raisin, A History of the Jews in Modern Times, 279–281.

[xvi] Bertram W. Korn, “JUDAH P. BENJAMIN AS A JEW.” Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society, vol. 38, no. 3, 1949, pp. 153–171. JSTOR, JSTOR,

[xvii] Benjamin Kaplan, “Judah Phillip Benjamin” in Leonard Dinnerstein and Mary Dale Palsson, eds. Jews of the South, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1973, 75.

[xviii] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, 398.

[xix] Catharine MacMillan, “Judah Benjamin: marginalized outsider or admitted insider?,” 2.

[xx] EVE M. KAHN, “Letters Reveal Doubts of Senator Judah Benjamin. The New York Times, December 31, 2009.

[xxi] Sarna, Jews and the Civil War: A Reader, 38.

[xxii] Geoffrey D. Cunningham, ““The Ultimate Step:” Judah P. Benjamin and Secession.” American Jewish History, vol. 97 no. 1, 2013.

[xxiii] MacMillan, “Judah Benjamin: marginalized outsider or admitted insider?,” 18-19.

[xxiv] Catharine MacMillan, “Judah Benjamin: marginalized outsider or admitted insider?” Journal of Law and Society, 42 (1), 2015, pp. 150-172. doi:

[xxv] MacMillan, “Judah Benjamin: marginalized outsider or admitted insider?,” 18-19.

[xxvi] MacMillan, “Judah Benjamin: marginalized outsider or admitted insider?,” 17.

[xxvii] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, xx.

[xxviii] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, xxi.

[xxix] Evans, Judah P. Benjamin, 317.

About the Author
Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS, is a historian, librarian, journalist, and artist. She has done graduate work in Jewish Education at the Melton Centre of Jewish Education of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and in Jewish Studies at McGill University. She has a BA in History and Art History and a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill. She has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies. Her thesis was entitled “Unconditional Loyalty to the Cause: Southern Whiteness, Jewish Women, and Antisemitism, 1860–1913.” Ms. Goodman has been researching and writing about antisemitism in North American Jewish History, and she has reported on the current antisemitic climate and anti-Zionism on campus for over 15 years. She is the author of “A Constant Battle: McGill University’s Complicated History of Antisemitism and Now anti-Zionism.” She contributed the overviews and chronologies to the “History of American Presidential Elections, 1789–2008,” edited by Gil Troy, Arthur M. Schlesinger, and Fred L. Israel (2012). She is the former Features Editor at the History News Network and reporter at, where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She currently blogs at Medium, and her scholarly articles can be found on where she is a top writer.
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