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Miriam Freedman Family Papers

Identifier: Mss 110

Scope and Contents

Of special interest is an “Address to the Historic Talbotton Foundation” discussing the relationship between the Kaufman and Straus family. All material is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each folder.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1863 - 1994


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

This collection contains history of Jewish involvement in the American Civil War and the town of Talbotton, Georgia. In its early history, Talbotton was on the route of the Federal Telegraph road from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, LA. It is also one of the towns between Macon and Columbus, both of which are also located on US Highway 80. Lazarus Straus arrived in Philadelphia in 1852, and then sailed to Savannah for greater economic opportunities making his home in Oglethorpe, GA. In Oglethorpe, Straus, met the Kaufman brothers. Working out a deal with the brothers, Strauss began peddling. His travels brought him to nearby Talbotton, of Talbot County. In 1854, Lazarus Straus brought his family from Europe to Talbotton (his wife Sara and their children, Isador, Hermina, Nathan, and Oscar). During the Civil War, Isador, following involvement with blockade-running with cotton out of Charleston, ended up in London trading in Confederate bonds. In 1863 the family moved to Columbus, GA, following an antisemitic proclamation by Talbot County barring sales with Jewish-owned businesses. In April 1865, due to looting and chaos, Lazarus Straus moved his family to New York. The family opened L. Straus and Company, which partnered with R.H. Macy. The Straus family subsequently bought the entire operation which developed into Macy's, one of the world’s great merchandising establishment.

Also included in this collection is information on the Hirsch/Kaufman family. Herman Hirsch, a German Jewish immigrant arrived in New York City in 1860. A few months later he moved to Monticello, FL, where he enlisted in Captain Girardeau’s company, where he saw service in several Southern campaigns. He fell in love and married Miss Carolyn Lehman of Mobile, AL. Mr. Hirsch was among the best known and most popular business men in the area. He did extensive business in Seale, AL, and Woodbury, GA.


0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The papers primarily relate to Hermann Hirsch, a Confederate veteran who settled in Columbus, Georgia. The collection contains letters written by Herman Hirsch while in service to the Confederacy. The letters give a full account of the siege of Jackson in 1863.


All material is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within each folder.

Miriam Freedman Family Papers, Mss 110
Jeremy Katz
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum Repository

1440 Spring St. NW
Atlanta Georgia 30309 United States