New England: Connecticut, 1775-1781
ONE of the older Jewish contemporaries of Moses Michael Hays was the merchant Isaac Mendes Seixas. Born in Lisbon in 1709, he came via Barbados to New York about 1738. He had some relatives in the English mainland colonies, but apparently he was the first bearer of the name Seixas.
Seixas' courtship and marriage were accompanied by some turbulent and stormy scenes. He began to court Rachel Levy, the half-sister or stepsister of Mrs. Jacob Franks. The Frankses, who were Ashkenazim (Germanic Jews), did not like Seixas; possibly they resented the assumption of aristocratic background which Sephardim (Spanish Jews) have manifested from time to time; or more possibly their reservations were personal, since they seemed to doubt the sincerity of his intentions. Seixas' uncle, Rodrigo Pacheco, frowned on the impending marriage for the simple reason that Rachel was a German.
The rough road was made rougher for the couple when