Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Jewish folk help JW with some detective work
Wed 5 Jan 1763. Having procured one who understood Spanish to interpret, I had a long conversation with the supposed Turks. One account they gave of themselves then: a second they soon after gave to Mrs. G. I observed the account now given, which I read over to them, in some particulars differed from both. This increased my fear, though I still hoped the best, till Mr. Blackwell procured a Jew to talk with them, who understood both Turkish and Spanish; upon whose questioning them thoroughly they contradicted all the accounts given before. And upon the elder of them mentioning Solomon Selim, a Jewish merchant of Amsterdam, one who knew him wrote to Solomon about him; who answered, he had ‘known him upwards of fourteen years’; that he was ‘a Spanish Jew, a physician by profession’; that some years since he had cured him of a dangerous illness, in gratitude for which he had given him ten pounds, to carry him over to England.