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    Joachim Gans

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    (16th century)

    The Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of the great historical mysteries. Founded by Walter Raleigh in 1585 as one of the first English settlements in North America, it vanished off the face of the Earth five years later.

    One of Roanoke's founding colonists was Joachim Gans, the first recorded Jew in North America (this depends on how you define "Jew" and "North America", but let's not get bogged down with semantics). Raleigh recruited Gans, a mining expert from Bohemia, wanting his expertise in purifying copper (and gold? Probably gold).

    Lack of supplies and restless natives did not exactly make the New World a paradise for new arrivals. A year after he came, Gans departed Roanoke, taken by Francis Drake back to England.

    When the English came back to Roanoke in 1590, they found... absolutely nothing. Over a hundred colonists disappeared without a trace. Of course, Gans was safely back in England.

    The first Jew in North America turned out smarter than the goyim?

    Not surprising.

    Verdict: Jew.

    December 4, 2015

    See Also

    Benjamin of Tudela

    Luis de Carvajal

    Gaspar Castano de Sosa

    Joshua Montefiore

    Luis de Torres
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