The First Jewish Congressman


Lewis Charles Levin was the first Jew elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the American Party candidate from Pennsylvania in 1844. He was born in Charleston South Carolina, on November 10, 1808. He graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) with a law degree. He was a founder of the Native American Party and published and edited the Philadelphia Daily Sun.

Levin was relelected twice before being defeated in 1850. He then returned to the practice of law in Philadelphia until his death on March 14, 1860.


Source: Connie L. McNeely and Susan J. Tolchin, “On the Hill,” in L. Sandy Maisel and Ira Forman, Eds. Jews in American Politics. (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), pp. 54 and 375.