My favorite American president is Abraham Lincoln. My maternal grandparents lived on a small tobacco farm in Kentucky, the state in which he was born.  He was well spoken of there. I read A Stillness at Appomattox by Bruce Catton when I was a young teenager—probably the first serious title that I ever read, if memory serves. I remember being saddened and angrily bewildered by the fact that he was assassinated. My admiration for him was increased this morning as I read a piece from the Jerusalem Post. Here’s an excerpt:

“Ulysses S. Grant actually ordered Jews expelled from his jurisdiction under Order No. 11: ‘The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order. Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters. No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.’

Immediately after it was issued, a group of Jews from Paducah, Kentucky, led by Cesar Kaskel, sent Lincoln a telegram condemning the order as an “enormous outrage on all laws and humanity… the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it.” Shortly thereafter Kaskel arrived at the White House. He showed Lincoln Order No. 11. On January 6, Grant revoked it. Abraham Lincoln: ‘And so the children of Israel were driven from the land of Canaan.’ Cesar Kaskel of Kentucky: ‘Yes, and that is why we have come to Father Abraham for protection.’ Abraham Lincoln: ‘And this protection they shall have.’”

This link is the link from which I posted, although it no longer goes to the page: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1233304731079&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull