Americans Of Jewish Descent
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Abraham Touro

Abraham Touro[1, 2]

Male 1774 - 1822  (48 years)

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  • Name Abraham Touro  [3, 4
    Born 1774  Newport, Newport, RI Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Gender Male 
    Alt Birth 1777  Newport, Newport, RI Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    alt death Medford, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Alt. Birth 1778  [3, 6
    Reference Number 631 
    Died 18 Oct 1822  Boston, MA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 7, 8
    Cause: Mortification of leg 
    Buried 20 Oct 1822  Colonial Jewish Burial Ground, Newport, RI Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Person ID I631  aojd
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2011 

    Father Hazzan Isaac Touro,   b. 1738, Holland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Dec 1783, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    Family ID F235  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • (Research):AJLLJ Portraits Database 5 Aug 2011

      One of the four children of Reyna Hays and Isaac Touro, Abraham was born in Newport. It is a city with which his legacy would be forever connected, though his time there was ultimately quite short. His father, Isaac, a Dutch-born Sephardi who had been living in Jamaica, had arrived in 1760 at the bequest of the city's growing Jewish community. As their wealth and numbers had increased, largely from shipping, they had decided to build a synagogue, Jeshuat Israel, and Isaac Touro was to serve as hazzan. Thirteen years after his arrival in Rhode Island he married Reyna, daughter of Rebecca Michaels and Judah Hays. The following year their first son, Judah, was born.
           Soon after, the Revolution broke out, and the British occupied Newport. The majority of the city's Jews, Whigs, fled. Isaac Touro, however, was a Loyalist, and remained in Newport. Times were hard during these years, as the city's economy ground to a halt, and after the births of Abraham and his sister, Rebecca, the family moved down to British-controlled New York, where they often had to rely on the charity of soldiers to eat.
           The family's next move was back to Jamaica, however, Isaac died less than a year after their arrival. And so Reyna, with four children now, returned to New England, to Boston this time, where she took refuge in the home of her brother Moses Michael Hays. Hayes, a shipper and merchant, who had evacuated Newport ahead of the British, welcomed the five into his home, which already had seven children, and after Reyna died in 1787, took full responsibility for the upbringing of his nieces and nephews.
           Abraham followed his uncle and his older brother, Judah, into business. He worked as an agent for Judah's firm, and pursued his own opportunities as a merchant and shipbuilder. With financial success, Touro began to develop another interest, and one for which he, like his brother, would be best remembered— philanthropy. He financed the construction of roads, bridges and theaters around Boston and Medford, Massachusetts, where he had his shipyard.
           When Touro was forty-five, he was thrown from his horse while watching a parade. He eventually died from wounds sustained during the accident. In his will he left ten thousand dollars to the Massachusetts General Hospital and fifteen thousand dollars in a trust for the upkeep of the Jewish cemetery in Newport and the synagogue there, now known as Touro, after the benefaction of Judah and Abraham. Touro Streets in Newport and Medford are also named for him. [9]
    • (Medical):He jumped from his chaise (carriage) when the horse spooked at the cannons firing while viewing a military parade. He broke his leg in the fall.

  • Sources 
    1. [S81] .

    2. [S285] .

    3. [S4] PG. 300 (Reliability: 3).
      QUAY 3

    4. [S4] PG. 300 (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S39] "MEET THE FAMILY" PDF CHART, (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S336] ABRAHAM TOURO (Reliability: 3).

    7. [S38] .

    8. [S335] (Reliability: 3).

    9. [S294] TOURO, ABRAHAM (Reliability: 3).