Rebecca Haas Strauss, Levi Strauss, Levi discussed on Mark Levin
Podcast. I'm Holly and I'm Tracy v. Wilson, we're talking today about Levi Strauss, and historians really historically interesting because it touches on a lot of important moments in US history. So he was an immigrant who ended up in a business that was impacted by and intern affected. The US civil war and American clothing culture. He has a story that's tied to the goldrush. He also had a vision for his adopted city of San Francisco that he worked really hard to achieve to the future generations would benefit from it. And his life in many ways, is the story of United States in the nineteenth century from the perspective of Jewish immigrant who became a captain of industry before we get into his story, I will make a confession, but just that until fairly recently, probably five years ago. I thought Levi Strauss were two different people that have been a business together. So clearly I missed this in history class, because even though people wear Levi's and you'd call it Levi, Strauss. I didn't realize that was one person's proper name. So I grew up in North Carolina not all that far away from cone, mills, which is, who made the denim for Levi's five for bud. Two hundred years or something? So like this is a piece of history. That is like, I'm a little more speed it. I didn't have confusion about whether Levi, Strauss. It's not my proudest moment. But in my defense even though I am a clothes person. I don't think I owned a pair of jeans of any flavor from about nineteen eighty five until, like two years ago. Like that's just never been my things. So, that's, that's my excuse. Poultry though, it may be that I just never examined Levi, Strauss fit makes you feel better. I thought Hanna Barbera was one person. Oh now that'd be funny, but no so Levi was born loop Strauss on February twenty six eighteen twenty nine in Britain. Germany, his father, her Strauss was a salesman who sold household goods store door, mother's name was Rebecca Haas Strauss, and both she and her screw up in Franconia. It's an area in the north of modern day Bavaria, which was predominantly Jewish. Rebecca was her second wife, his first wife made Bahman Strauss had died at the age of thirty five leaving him with five children. Then Hirsch and Rebecca had two more children together a daughter, and then live and Hirsch, Rebecca and their seven children lived in a three room downstairs floor of a two storey house. So this was a time when Bavaria's udon addict, or July was in effect that had started in eighteen teens in this law seemed as though it offered Jewish citizens the opportunity to pursue. A number of jobs that had once been forbidden to them. But in return, it also created really strict regulations for their lives among them, marriage and immigration of new Jews was severely limited all Jews had to be registered. They had to take German names. They could not only land, and even their language was codified. So all public records to be kept in German. They cannot use Hebrew for those someone like her Strauss who traveled through the area, selling his wares, also served as messengers his community Connector's during this time. And in this profession, Kirsch was sort of exempted from part of the unique working as a peddler, which had been a traditional job for Jewish men in the area for a long time was no longer considered an acceptable career, but older people like Hearst who weren't able to pick up a new profession were allowed to keep doing it. Yeah, it was expected that they would just eventually die off. And so would that profession and all of the limitations of the udon aid, eventually, inspired immigration, one of the marriage laws that really created a problem was it only the eldest son of any Jewish household could get married. And so there were some work arounds, like if a nother son that was younger wanted to marry a widow that was acceptable, or if a couple that had no children wanted to give up the slot, there, Ellison would have had to another family, so they have two sons Mary, they could. But basically, this really limited the entire societal culture, because all of these young women could not get married. All of these young men could not get married. It was frustrating, so they wanted to leave in eighteen thirty seven there was a group of eighteen people that left eighteen young people in two of loves older siblings were part of that they left Germany to make homes in London and New York. In nineteen forty and nineteen forty one to more of the stress children, followed suit in eighteen forty six I died of tuberculosis Rebecca remarried soon after two purses, brother, he was a widower named Lipman, but Lipman died just a few weeks after the wedding was seventeen at that time and his sisters were still living at home. An immigration at this point was not easy. You couldn't just pick up and leave the very in government had to approve anyone who wished to leave the country. And you had to prove that, neither you nor anyone in your family at any sort of criminal record, and that you could afford to make the trip on March seventeenth eighteenth forty-seven, Rebecca Strauss filed an immigration petition in which he stated that because she was a widow, she didn't have the financial support anymore. She didn't know how she would provide for her youngest son, but she had children in the United States who can help her get settled. There live was old enough to work and contribute to the family's finances. Once they are. Arrived, and for his part Lou his own petition stating, quote, no members of my family will stay behind. I will share the faith that has been assigned to me with them and foreign lands either. Join my mother and her plea on June twenty six eighteen forty-seven Rebecca and her children, so love and his two sisters were approved for immigration, but they didn't leave immediately because Rebecca needed to make sure that the family that had gone on to New York Hanan deed, made preparations for the three of them to arrive and live there. They finally made their way in the spring of eighteen forty eight although the specifics of their transatlantic passage aren't really documented, or known Jonas and Lewis Strauss. Libs brothers had become dry goods merchants in the city. They'd open up shop at three ninety three and a half grand street. But by the time the family arrive, they had moved to a more lucrative location at two three and a half division street. They lived above the shop. Jonas had also gotten married and started his own family. And at some point love followed the example, that his siblings had any changed his name to a more, Americanized version. This was not uncommon in the eighteen fifty cents is he is listed as Levi with a why he also started working in the family dry goods business while he was there. He learned English really quickly so that he could speak with business partners and customers, and he applied for US citizenship Justice his brothers had done before him. The stresses strike goods business was doing really well, they moved to another new location near union market in eighteen fifty one and as their family business was growing, and you opportunity was making itself apparent across the country as the California gold, rush foster new towns, new prosperity and a need for dry goods, the Strauss brothers, did not want to miss chance to capitalize on this new market, but they also needed to keep their established New York business going. And so the youngest brother of the family was sent west five. Days after he took his oath of citizenship on January thirty first eighteen fifty three love, Strauss, who was now going by Levi left New York for San Francisco aboard the US mail ship, Georgia, which was a steamer and the family had already loaded shipment of merchandise. Aboard another ship called the winged racer for Levi to take possession of once. He reached San Francisco. The clipper, winged racer was sailing down around the tip of South America, and then north to California leave. I would make the trip in less time, traveling through Panama was, of course before the Panama Canal was built. So he took the steamer Georgia to Panama, and then traveled across thin strip of the country to Panama City on the Pacific side got on another steamer. They're called the isthmus, and that was bound for San Francisco. He arrived in San Francisco on March thirteenth eighteen fifty three. This was considered a lot of people safer plan than trying to travel overland from New York to San Francisco because. People often did not survive that journey, or if they did get California. They got there in pretty sorry shape. This is a little bit of an easier booth. And the specifics of Levi's first days in San Francisco are also unknown. He would have needed to rent warehouse space for the goods that were coming in on the winged racer 'em. He would have needed to find lodgings for himself. He most likely had some letters of introduction to family connections that had already made that journey west. So it wasn't as though he just showed up and had to figure everything out by himself. He had some security net in place that merchandise that had been shipped showed up two weeks after leave dead on March thirtieth. Unlike other merchants, you had to bid on merchandise that was shipped on spec. Once it got to the port at San Francisco Levi knew what was coming. He just had to inspect it accept it..