Our Family Biographies

Alexander Marks

Alexander Marks was born August 4,1788 in Charleston, South Carolina. His father Humphrey (Mordecai) Marks was born in London in 1760. His brother, Elias founded a school for girls which Theodore Roosevelt’s mother attended. At the time, of the Louisiana Purchase, the year 1804, Alexander was private secretary to Governor Claiborne. He fought in the War of 1812.

When the war was over, Alexander Marks married Esther (Hetty) Hart of New York, the daughter of Revolutionary ancestor, Jacob (Napthali) Hart and Leah Nathan. Reverend Moses Levy Madura Peixotta performed the marriage ceremony at Congregation Shearith Israel in New York. Alexander and Esther had 14 children In 1826 Alexander and Esther lived in Columbia, S.C. where Alexander was among the founders of the Columbia Hebrew Benevolent Society. In 1833, there is an account of the Town Council prosecuting him for keeping his shop open on Sunday. The record states that it is his contention that since he was a Jew, the statute demanding his closing, conflicted with the free exercise of conscience to all. However, the court upheld his conviction. Marksville, LA is reported to be named after Alexander Marks.

At the time of the Civil War on September 14, 1861, Alexander Marks died. He is buried at the Dispersed of Judah Portuguese Cemetery in New Orleans.