The American Converts Database

Warder Cresson

Dublin Core


Warder Cresson


Mullen, Lincoln

Convert Item Type Metadata


Cresson, Warder (1798-1848)
Israel, Michael C. Boaz (1848-1860)
"The Watchman" (pseudonym)

Birth Date



Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



Family Relations

Cresson, Elizabeth Townsend (wife)
Cresson, Jacon (son)
Cresson, Emma (daughter)
Cresson, John Elliott (son)
Cresson, Eliza (daughter)
Cresson, Clement (son)
Cresson, Ezra Townsend (son)
Cresson, Annabella (son)
Moleano, Rachel (wife)
David Ben Zion (son)
Abigail Ruth (daughter)



Biographical Text

Warder Cresson was born in Pennsylvania as a Quaker, whose meetings he attended through early adulthood. In 1829 he joined the Shakers; by January 1830 the Quaker disciplinary committee had given up his case. Cresson became fascinated by Judaism after meeting Isaac Leeser in 1840. Cresson traveled to Jerusalem in the 1844 as the U.S. consul, though his appointment was revoked. In Jerusalem he published several polemical works against Christianity and mission efforts to convert Jews. He converted to Judaism in Jerusalem in March 1848. When Cresson returned to Pennsylvania in 1848, intending to set his affairs in order and move permanently to Jerusalem, his wife and children sued to retain his property, claiming that he was insane. Cresson won the case, which was a cause célèbre for the freedom to convert to a minority religion.


Fox, Frank. "Quaker, Shaker, Rabbi: Warder Cresson, the Story of a Philadelphia Mystic." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 95, no. 2 (April 1971): 147-194.



“Warder Cresson,” The American Converts Database, accessed October 25, 2016,

Item Relations

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