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The Cohen Family

The Cohen family got its start in the U.S. in 1787 when Israel Cohen and his bride Judith Solomon immigrated to Richmond, VA, to join Israel’s brother in business. Israel’s death in 1803 prompted his widow to move with her seven children to Baltimore. The family settled in a row house there in 1807.

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The first member of the Cohen family to emigrate to the U.S. was Mendes’ uncle, Jacob I. Cohen, who arrived in the U.S. in 1773.

A Revolutionary War veteran who participated in the Defense of Charleston, Jacob established Richmond’s largest Jewish-owned business and was prominent in civic and financial affairs.

An interesting fact about Uncle Jacob: he and his partner, Isaiah Isaacs, hired Daniel Boone to conduct land surveys in the mid-west. In addition to paving the way for the family’s success, Jacob certainly passed on many family traits to his nephews including an aptitude for business, a deep sense of patriotism and a willingness to take risks.

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