MS 2 The Jacob H. Hollander Papers

Posted on September 23rd, 2010 by

After having seen an excerpt from one of our most recent manuscript collections I thought is was appropriate to look back at one of our earliest manuscript collections – MS 2: The Jacob H. Holland (1871-1940) Papers.

Aside from the manuscript collection the JMM also has this book written by Jacob Hollander — a Baltimore City Guide Book complete with Map. 1994.150.007

Jacob H. Hollander (1871-1940)
Papers, n.d., 1900-1935

MS 2


The Jacob H. Hollander Papers were donated by Rosamund Hutzler (Mrs. Siegfried Weisberger), Bertha Hollander, and David Hollander in May 1966 as accession 1966.6. Anne Turkos processed this collection in September 1982. Erin Titter updated and edited the finding aid and revised the box list in July 2004.

Access to the collection is unrestricted and is available to researchers at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the Jewish Museum of Maryland before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library’s usual procedures.


Jacob Harry Hollander was born in Baltimore on July 23, 1871 to Meyer and Rosa (Meyer) Hollander. He attended local public and private schools, except for one year spent at the Pennsylvania Military Academy. He received an A.B. from Johns Hopkins University in 1891 and a Ph.D. in 1894. In 1904 he became a full professor of political economy at Johns Hopkins and assumed the Abram G. Hutzler Chair in 1925. On January 22, 1906 he married Theresa Gutman Hutzler of Baltimore and they had three children, Rosamund (Mrs. Siegfried Weisberger), David, and Bertha Hutzler Hollander.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Hollander was also active in government service beginning with an 1897 appointment by President McKinley as the secretary of the American Bimetallic Commission. In 1900 he was the chairman of Baltimore’s Municipal Lighting Commission. The same year he served as financial advisor to Puerto Rico and was appointed treasurer of Puerto Rico in 1901 where he revised the tax laws and implemented a new revenue system referred to as “Hollander’s Law.” In 1904 he became a special agent of the Department of the Interior in Indian Territory, where he aided fiscal transition and investigated special needs. From 1905-1910 he was dispatched by President Theodore Roosevelt to the Dominican Republic to serve as an advisor to their financial reorganization and to investigate the public debt of San Domingo. During this same five-year period, he also chaired the Mayor’s Committee on Taxation and Revenue in Baltimore. Hollander also served as umpire for the Maryland and Upper Potomac coalfields for the Federal Fuel Administration from, 1918-1920, and he served as chairman of the Maryland State Tax Survey Commission, 1931-1932.

Jacob Hollander was active in several local and national organizations including the American Economic Association, the American Liberty League, the Baltimore Reform League, the Executive Committee of the Charity Organization Society of Baltimore, the Jewish Publication Society of America, the American Jewish Historical Society, and the United Hebrew Charities. He enjoyed writing about various government, economic, and religious topics.

Jacob Harry Hollander died on July 9, 1940 in Baltimore. He is buried in Har Sinai Cemetery.


The Jacob H. Hollander (1871-1940) Papers, n.d., 1900-1935, consist primarily of personal and professional correspondence, telegrams, invitations, speeches, and newspaper clippings. The correspondence, which comprises the bulk of this collection, includes both incoming letters and carbon copies of outgoing letters. The papers in this collection pertain to Hollander’s work with Jewish philanthropic and literary agencies including the Federated Jewish Charities, the Baron de Hirsch Fund, the City-Wide Congress, the Joseph Fels Fund, the National Farm School, and the National Conference of Jewish Social Services. Correspondents include Cyrus Adler, Harry Friedenwald, Herbert Friedenwald, Max J. Kohler, Morris S. Lazaron, Julius Levy, Isidore Rayner, Samuel Oppenheimer, David Philipson, Jacob H. Schiff, and Paul M. Warburg.

Related Collections:

MS 59 Hollander (Jacob Harry) 1871-1940 Papers (1895-1940) at The Milton S. Eisenhower Library, Special Collections, Johns Hopkins University

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Ten in the Twentieth: Baltimore Jews and Social Justice 1900s

Posted on February 1st, 2017 by

Article by Dr. Deborah R. Weiner. Originally published in Generations 2009-2010: 50th Anniversary Double Issue: The Search for Social Justice.


The Baltimore Jewish community has produced many leaders who have worked to make the world a better place. The range of issues they have addressed is impressive: from women’s suffrage to civil rights, labor relations to helping the elderly, refugee resettlement to eliminating poverty, and much more.

This chronology traces the careers of ten Baltimoreans who stood up for social change, with each person’s entry revolving around a turning point—one for each decade of the twentieth century. This is by no means a “Ten Best” list. The people included here are remarkable for what they accomplished, but others, equally remarkable, could have been chosen as well. These profiles should be seen as representative of a larger group of Baltimore Jews who have made major contributions to their communities and to the broader society in myriad ways.

The 1900s: Sidney Hollander

The century begins with Sidney Hollander (1881-1972) being denied his diploma from City College high school. His transgression? He and the other yearbook staffers insisted on printing a cartoon criticizing the faculty, despite administration threats. The episode did not deter Hollander from standing up for what he believed in, all his life. He later said, “In my time I’ve been labeled socialist, radical, subversive, communist—whatever happened to be in disfavor at the time; and that will happen to you, too, if you’re so foolhardy as to challenge things as they are.”

A young Sidney Hollander Sr. From the JMM Vertical Files.

A young Sidney Hollander Sr. From the JMM Vertical Files.

But Hollander was no wild-eyed radical. After building a successful pharmaceutical business by the 1920s, he devoted the next fifty years to civic and philanthropic pursuits. His outspokenness made him a leader in social welfare and reform activities locally and nationally. He helped found the Americans for Democratic Action and the Baltimore Urban League; he presided over the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Jewish Children’s Society, and the national Council of Jewish Federations. He personally challenged segregation by bringing African American friends with him to concerts at the Peabody Conservatory, and was instrumental in bringing the first black performer, Marian Anderson, to the Lyric.

The cartoon that caused City College to deny Hollander and his yearbook colleagues their diplomas in 1900. From the JMM Vertical Files.

The cartoon that caused City College to deny Hollander and his yearbook colleagues their diplomas in 1900. From the JMM Vertical Files.

When he died, the Baltimore Sun praised him as the “Champion of the Dispossessed.” He received many accolades and awards during his lifetime, but one stands out as particularly significant: fifty years after the yearbook incident, City College awarded him his diploma—and inducted him into the City College Hall of Fame.

Continue to The 1910s: Jacob Moses.

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Two Lives in Labor: Sarah Barron Part 1

Posted on January 9th, 2017 by

Edited by Avi Y. Decter. Originally published in Generations 2009-2010: 50th Anniversary Double Issue: The Search for Social Justice.

Part III: We Will Begin the Campaign

Missed parts 1 and 2? Start from the Beginning

Sarah Barron (1901-1993) was born in Ukraine and emigrated to Baltimore in 1914. Soon after, she started work as a thread-puller at Wohlmuth’s. Within the year, Sarah and her sisters left Wohlmuth’s for Sonneborn’s. By 1916, she had advanced from a thread-puller to a sewing machine operator and had joined the newly formed Amalgamated Clothing Workers.

Elected a shop steward, Sarah rose steadily through the union ranks. She became a business manager and a paid organizer for the Amalgamated. During the 1932 strike—which revitalized the Amalgamated—Sarah was arrested numerous times for picketing. Her courage, tenacity, and organizational skills made her a pioneer among women labor leaders of her generation.

The following account of her early years in the labor movement is taken from an oral history conducted by Barbara Wertheimer, June 4, 1976. The sequence of reminiscences has been re-arranged to improve the flow of the narrative, but all comments are those of Sarah Barron. Additional information on Barron and her remarkable career can be found in Jo Ann E. Argersinger, Making the Amalgamated: Gender, Ethnicity, and Class in the Baltimore Clothing Industry, 1899-1939 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999).

[My father] was a tailor in Russia, and he used to be a half-rabbi . . . he used to sing, like a cantor. He went to tailoring, but he was very religious and he wouldn’t work on Saturday. So, he’d work up to Friday and he wanted to go home early. That’s how he used to lose his jobs. Because, especially winter times, he wouldn’t work after two o’clock. They told him they had no job for him. And my mother was sick since she came and all. At school we used to play and when I’d go home sometimes, we didn’t have enough to eat. My father didn’t make any money, and my mother was sick, so one of my sisters took me in the factory. It was so bad. We had to work . . . to support ourselves.

I worked for Wohlmuth’s. I was pulling out threads in a basement. . . . They used to lock the elevator when they needed the work. That was the first [factory] where they locked the elevator. It was hot and there wasn’t even no payroll. They used to give my sister the money for me, too.

Henry Sonneborn, Siegmund Sonneborn, and unknown man in the Sonneborn Office at corner of Eutaw and German Streets, c.1900. JMM 1991.55.1b

Henry Sonneborn, Siegmund Sonneborn, and unknown man in the Sonneborn Office at corner of Eutaw and German Streets, c.1900. JMM 1991.55.1b

Most of the time I spent in Sonneborn’s. I was pulling threads . . . but then I started to work on a machine. I was just doing a little job of sewing linings on coats.

Setting tape, that was a man’s job at the time. And making linings. Setting inside pockets, pressing, and under-pressing. That was all man’s jobs. I know they wouldn’t let a woman in to sew sleeves or to do some jobs. Nobody thought about it. When I started working in the basement pulling [threads], I made about four dollars a week. They made twenty-five, the cutters upstairs. But not tailors. They made about ten, eleven, twelve. My father made about nine dollars a week. He couldn’t support all of his children.

You had to be fifteen years at that time to get a permit to work. I wasn’t fifteen years, and there was a few others. And they had inspectors. I never did forget that name, Miss Campes, she was the child inspector. She used to look around. When she came to our shop they used to give three rings. We had to get in a box, that had rags down there. Yes, and they’d close it up and [tell me to] wait in it ‘til she got through looking for me, you know, for children. And after she left, we come out again. Well, the one time we got caught. They took us to Mr. Blumberg [an Amalgamated official], and they took us to juvenile court or something, Anyhow, they let us out and they told us not to go to work, but we went anyhow.

My mother kept house, but my oldest sister—she worked in Sonneborn’s already—she used to be like the head of the household. She used to be like our boss. She’d tell us who had a job. We all had to do a little bit. Scrub the kitchen, scrub the bathroom. My mother was happy to be with the children. She loved the children. But my mother was a rebel. She was participating in a meat strike here [in 1918] because the meats were not kosher or something. And she got locked up one night. We were sitting on the porch . . . and we were right across the street from the union, and they said, “Your mother got locked up!”

The Social Revolution by Karl Kautsky, 1910. Book is stamped from Workmen’s Circle Free Library, Baltimore, MD. JMM 2007.32.1

The Social Revolution by Karl Kautsky, 1910. Book is stamped from Workmen’s Circle Free Library, Baltimore, MD. JMM 2007.32.1

We were political-minded. My oldest sister, the one who came here first, she went away because she was a socialist in Russia and they were trying to line them up. So she came here. She got in illegally, see. She belonged to the Workmen’s Circle and she belonged to organizations that were politically-minded here. Of course, we all listened to it. I was in Yipsel (Young People’s Socialist League) many years ago. I went to the Yipsel school when I was a kid. We used to read everything in the Workmen’s Circle library.

In 1916, they had a big strike here . . . to try to get everybody in the Amalgamated union.  And the United Garment Workers and the Industrial Workers got together with the Amalgamated. And the cutters walked out with the others on strike from Sonneborn’s and from a lot of other places, and so it was a great big fight. Dorothy [Jacobs Bellanca, an early union organizer] came up to Sonneborn’s and worked there with a bunch of young kids, but we had a lot of spunk in us. And she said that the women have to go on the picket line and we’d have to go first because they had a lot of police and we should give a push, and then the men will follow us in back. A lot of us landed in the police station. Some of them had to nurse their babies. They let them out, but they didn’t let us out until the following day.

Officers of Garment Workers Local #114, United Garment Workers of America; Abraham Cohen, secretary of the American Federation of Labor, at middle left end. JMM 1992.39.10

Officers of Garment Workers Local #114, United Garment Workers of America; Abraham Cohen, secretary of the American Federation of Labor, at middle left end. JMM 1992.39.10

I suppose that I had missed childhood, and you had to take something to take its place. So it was an exciting thing then. You came to meetings and I was, I was fifteen yeast old, I was elected chairlady for Sonneborn’s. First I was just for the seventh floor, just for the women.  Then they elected me head chairlady. Later on, I was elected chairman for the seventh floor for both men and women because they saw that I did more for the women than the men did! That must have been in the late twenties.

[In 1920] I was the youngest delegate at the [Amalgamated] Boston convention. [Dorothy Jacobs Bellanca] always went. And she said to a group of women, “You wanted to get elected a woman? You’re entitled to four delegates.” Well, [Hyman] Blumberg was always our friend. He said, “Instead of voting for four, vote for one.”

The next thing was, we went to meetings because we found we wanted something. So we began to work among the women. And then, when [in] 1920 they had a general strike in New York, Bessie Blumberg and Dorothy [Jacobs Bellanca] went to help there. They said they needed money for milk for the children. So we got together in the city of Baltimore with women from other shops because we used to have like a women’s committee.  We didn’t have a local, and we worked with this buttonhole makers local, ‘cause they were nothing but women

And we all got together, and we said, “We’re going to have a bazaar. And we’re going to raise money for milk funds for the children of New York.”  So we had some liberals, we had Elizabeth Gilman, who was the daughter of the first president of Johns Hopkins. She was with us. And Sidney Hollander and Broadus Mitchell who was teaching in Johns Hopkins. He was my teacher at school! The women were crocheting, knitting. Everything was handmade. Everything we brought in, our headquarters was on Front Street, brought it there and we got a big hall on Palmer Street because most of the people lived around there.

Lithuanian women and Italian women and the Bohemian women–everybody was doing something. We had everything and Bessie Blumberg and Eleanor Pankhurst, who was teaching at Goucher College and Emily Richardson and one who taught at Hopkins, they brought the groups to buy the stuff. A lot of liberals and a lot of the workers bought things, too. We made over a thousand dollars! We sent it to Dorothy [Bellanca] to use it for the milk fund, because she was over there conducting the strike, helping to conduct the strike.

Labor summer school for women workers, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, 1916-1917. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Labor summer school for women workers, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania, 1916-1917. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

[In 1921] I went to summer school, the [Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers]. It was the first year it started. Dorothy got me to go that summer. We didn’t have money so I think some of the liberals paid for me, the fare. I was already active and all.  And there was another girl, a buttonhole-maker, her name was Sadie Coats. She went, too. And after that, I think that every year we sent somebody [from] the Amalgamated [to] these summer schools.

Continue to Part IV: On Strike

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