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Miscellanies: Nathaniel Isaacs

<plain_text><page sequence="1">NATHANIEL ISAACS According to Mr. Louis Herrman in his standard history of the Jews in South Africa,1 Nathaniel Isaacs, the explorer of Natal, died some time after 1858 on an island off the west coast of Africa. "He [Nathaniel Isaacs] was last seen by his relatives in England in 1858. He did not sever his connections with Africa till his death, which occurred many years later, says Theal, on an island in the Gulf of Guinea where he had long resided." This statement was repeated, in part, unchanged, by Mr. Herr? man in the following year (1936), in the biographical introduction to his edition, prepared for the Van Riebeeck Society of Cape Town, of Nathaniel Isaacs' "Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa." The Jewish Encyclopedia2, modifies this statement slightly by saying that he "died after 1840." George McCall Theal, the outstanding writer on South African history, on whom Mr. Herrman largely relied in this matter, gave no dates. "Isaacs never returned to Natal, but his liking for Africa was so great that he spent the remainder of a long life on an island in the Gulf of Guinea."3 But there is a further reference to Isaacs in the Jewish press. Among the death announcements of The Jewish Chronicle of July 5, 1872, appears the following : "On the 26th ultimo, at Kentville, Egremont, near Liverpool, Nathaniel Isaacs, Esq. aged 68 years, for many years resident and merchant at West Coast of Africa. Deeply regretted." He seems after all to have left Africa and to have settled near Liverpool with relatives, members of the Solomon family of St. Helena and South Africa, into which his mother Lenie (nee Solomon of Canterbury) was born. There is however no record of his burial in a Liverpool Jewish cemetery. A.M.H. 1 A History of the Jews in South Africa from the earliest Times to 1895 (Johannesburg, 1935, p.82). 2 Vol. VI, p. 634. 3 The History of South Africa from 1828 to 1846 (London, 1904 : p. 306).</page></plain_text>