Skip to main content

Thomas J. Tobias papers

Identifier: Mss 1029

Collection Overview

Includes family and research papers, photocopies, scrapbook, photographs, clippings. Tobias papers include family histories and research on individuals. Slave sales of Abraham Tobias, oath of allegiance, etc. of Emily T. Minis, & resolution, Charleston Board of Health, on Joseph L. Tobias. Family Bibles and data regarding Tobias, Mordecai, Lazarus, Alexander, and de Lyon families. Mordecai family histories and notes on individuals. M.C. Mordecai papers regarding blockade runner Isabel, Baltimore, MD, business letters; and J. Randolph Mordecai letter mentioning start of phosphate industry. Common place book of Isabel L. Mordecai and daughter Hortensia, mentioning actress Charlotte Cushman. Hortensia Mordecai European diary, mentioning Harriet Hosmer, and Charles Sumner; David Henry Mordecai diaries through the Florida Keys, Key West, Cuba, England, Europe, mentioning study in Germany, politics, inevitability of Civil War, women wearing makeup, his declining health and trip Edgar M. Lazarus papers include travel diary through US and Europe, schooling in Germany, with comments on Jewish life; CSA service papers; ketubah; letter regarding torpedo boat; presidential appointment as appraiser, Customs House, Charleston, and inability to serve due to CSA service, with petition of Charleston merchants. Joshua Lazarus military and marriage settlement papers, and data regarding street railroads in Charleston, Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Phoebe Yates common place book and Lazarus and Yates family histories. Research on dozens of significant SC Jews including members of Alexander, Cohen, DaCosta, DeLeon, Harby and other families; data on Henry F. Lewith, founder of Be Kind to Animal Week, Moses Lopez, Penina Mo_se, & others. With Ketuba of Joseph and Sarah Alexander, papers regarding Sidney J. Cohen; common place book of Rosina Hendricks Levy; diary of Joseph Lyons detailing his study, religious and social life of SC Jews, health, and many philosophical topics; CSA quartermaster letter of Raphael J. Moses, with Robert E. Lee signature. Includes copy of Benjamin & Levi Sheftall diary regarding vital statistics, Savannah Jews, and papers re. death of Samuel Turtletaub. With notes and research re. Tobias's histories of Hebrew Orphan and Hebrew Benevolent Societies, KK Beth Elohim history, its Coming Street cemetery, other cemeteries, American Jewish Historical Society 1964 meeting in Charleston; Charleston Jewish Bicentennial celebration; Francis Salvador, & diorama sponsored by B'nai B'rith; Brith Shalom, Shearith Israel synagogues and other Jewish topics & persons.


  • Creation: approximately 1790-1970


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Biographical Note

Thomas Jefferson Tobias, 1906-1970, was an historian, researcher, author and genealogist, descended from early important Jewish families.


6.5 linear feet

Language of Materials


Acquisitions Information

Materials transferred from Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim.

Alternate Form of Materials

Digital reproductions available online in the Lowcountry Digital Library.

Inventory of the Thomas J. Tobias Papers, circa 1790-1970
Processed by: Special Collections staff; finding aid created by: Special Collections staff
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)