The Sephardim Touro Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island was founded in 1658 by a group
of Portuguese, and the synagogue, the first in the United States, was dedicated five years
later. Moisés Seixas, an influential member of the congregation, wrote a congratulatory
address, presented to George Washington in 1790 on behalf of "the children of the stock of
Abraham" when the president visited Newport. In the address Seixas coined the famous phrase
"to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance."
The Touro Congregation is represented in the following Library of Congress presentations:
The "To Bigotry No Sanction" address to Washington and his reply are included in this permanent exhibition.
The section Jewish Congregation in Colonial Newport, Rhode Island is accompanied by a map of Newport showing the synagogue's location.
This exhibit includes four items related to the synagogue: items 22, 24, and 25 can be found in part two of the first section, America as a Religious Refuge: The Seventeenth Century, and are a photograph of the building, a Torah breastplate, and a Matza board, respectively; item 154, contained in the first part of the sixth section, Religion and the Federal Government, is again George Washington's letter to the congregation.
This American Memory presentation highlights August 17, the anniversary of the presentation of the address, and December 2, the dedication of the synagogue.