Many Hispanics in North America are not aware that they have Jewish ancestry. The Sephardim are Jews from Spain and Portugal in the Iberian Peninsula. They were expelled first by Spain and later Portugal, and dispersed to friendly countries but suffered rejection and many times death. Some Jews were forcibly converted to Catholicism, and some were pressured to do so voluntarily. Many came to the New World, first to Mexico, and their descendants spread out north to Texas and other states. This group was brought to Nuevo Leon province in Mexico by Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva, governor and conquistador, whose family was burned at the stake by the Mexican Inquisition. Another major group of 23 arrived in New Amsterdam, the original New York, by a French ship that had rescued them from Spanish pirates. Many of their descendants were prominent in the American Revolution and are still so today, and very wealthy, mostly along the East Coast, although they keep a low profile. There were other minor migrations which are described in this article. This is a concise very readable summary of The Sephardim that will enlighten readers about this unique history and about one of the cultural and ancestral roots of Hispanics in the United States. This might spur readers to explore further this interesting story.
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