Jonas Phillips Refuses to Testify on the Shabbat, a commentary

Jonas Phillips Refuses to Testify on the Sabbath, April 5, 1793

from Reports of Cases Ruled and Adjudged in the Several Courts of the United States, and of Pennsylvania, Volume 2, by A. J. Dallas (Philadelphia, 1798), p. 213

Stanbury versus Marks
In this cause (which was tried on Saturday, the 5th of April) the defendant offered Jonas Phillips, a Jew as a witness; but he refused to be sworn, because it was his Sabbath. The Court, therefore, fined him 10 pounds; but the defendant, afterwards, waving the benefit of his testimony, he was discharged from the fine.

One of the most important jews in the early U.S., Jonas Phillips, once refused to testify during Shabbat, we don't know exactly what happened in this case, but it shows the commitment of this interesting figure with Judaism and its traditions.
Also, represents the first episode of religious freedom in the courts of the American Jewish History, because they said he was unnecessary for the case. AG

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