Notes on the Jews’ Tribute in Jamaica

SEVERAL volumes of the Publications of the American Jewish Historical Society have included material concerning special taxes levied upon the Jews of Jamaica and the attempts to have these taxes lifted.1 Several documents, heretofore un? published, shed additional light on the situation in Jamaica. Before turning to this new material and a discussion of the history of the process leading to the abolition of all legal disabilties against the Jews of Jamaica, we briefly summarize that material published earlier in the P.A.J.H.S.

Special imposts on the Jews of Jamaica were established as early as 1686. In 1700 the Jewish community estimated that by that time they had paid “?3450 over and above, and besides paying as the rest of the inhabitants.” This, they felt, was too burdensome “to this poor nation (who not surpassing eighty persons mcluding married men, batchelors widows and the poor maintained upon charity) …” This protest,

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