Mordccai Manuel Noah, an American journalist, born of Jewish parents in Philadelphia, July 19, 1785, died in New York, March 22, 1851. After attempting some mechanical business, he studied law, and when quite young went to Charleston, S. C, where he soon became known as a local politician. In 1811 he was appointed consul at Riga, and in 1813 consul at Tunis, with a mission to Algiers. The vessel in which he sailed was captured by a British man-of-war, and he was kept a prisoner for several weeks. At length returning to America, he published " Travels in England, France, Spain, and the Barbary States" (New York, 1819). Taking up his residence in New York, he became editor of several newspapers successively established. About 1820 he formed a scheme for a Jewish settlement on Grand island in the Niagara river, where he erected a monument with the inscription: "Ararat, a City of Refuge for the Jews, founded by Mor-decai M. Noah in the month of Tishri, 5586 (September, 1825), and in the 50th year of the American independence." This monument, all that ever existed of the city, has disappeared. Mr. Noah held various offices in New York, among which were those of sheriff, judge of the court of sessions, and surveyor of the port.
In 1840 a translation of the so-called " Book of Jasher " was published under his direction; and in 1845 he issued a collection of his newspaper essays under the title, " Gleanings from a Gathered Harvest." He also wrote several dramas, which were produced upon the stage with moderate success.