ABRAHAM, SAMUEL (d. 1792), merchant in Cochin. Abraham, who was probably of Polish birth, arrived in Cochin in about 1757 and served both the Dutch and English East India Companies. Abraham chiefly traded in timber for shipbuilding and to a lesser extent in paper, rice, pepper, and iron. He advanced large loans to the Dutch and English companies. With other leading Jewish merchants, he was entrusted with confidential diplomatic missions by the Dutch governor. His house was a meeting place for local princes, dignitaries, and merchants. Abraham established the first known contact between the Jews of Cochin and those of the Western Hemisphere with a Hebrew letter to the Jewish congregation of New York (c. 1790). It was accompanied by an outline history of the Jews in Malabar. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: W.J. Fischel, in: Harry Austryn Wolfson Jubilee Volume (1965), 255–74. (Walter Joseph Fischel)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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