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05/07/2021 07:08 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate

Jacob Gratz


Session Position District Party
1841 1 Democrat
 Counties   Philadelphia


1788 - 1856

The first Senator of the Jewish faith, Jacob was the son of Michael and Miriam (Simon) Gratz of Philadelphia.  His illustrious family included sister and brothers: philanthropist Rebecca, abolitionist Hyman, Simon, Joseph, and Benjamin.  He received a classical education, entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1807, graduating with an M.A. in 1811; pursued merchandising; director of the Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb, 1820; elected president of the Union Canal Company, 1822; officer of the Congregation Mickveh Israel, Philadelphia; elected to the state House of Representatives, serving 1838-1841; elected to the state Senate to fill a vacancy during the 1842 session; died on December 24, 1856, Philadelphia, interred in the Mickveh Israel Cemetery.  The senator never married.