Gratz, Barnard(grăts), 1738–1801, American merchant, b. Langensdorf, Upper Silesia. Having worked in his cousin's countinghouse in London, Gratz emigrated (1754) to Philadelphia, where he became a fur trader. Within a few years he and his brother Michael Gratz, 1740–1811, established a firm that acquired tracts of land in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois for pioneer settlement and ran boats on the Ohio River. The brothers signed the nonimportation resolutions against the Stamp Act and gave invaluable aid to the patriot cause in the American Revolution when they ran supplies through the British blockade. Later, Barnard helped to amend Pennsylvania's and Maryland's constitutions so that Jews could hold office. Michael was the father of Rebecca Gratz.
See W. V. Byars, ed., B. and M. Gratz (1916).
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Gratz, Barnard(1738–1801) merchant; born in Langensdorf, Upper Silesia (now Poland) (brother of Michael Gratz). He came to Philadelphia in 1754. Working with his brother Michael, he helped open the American West to trade and supported the American Revolution. In 1782 he laid the cornerstone of the first synagogue in Philadelphia.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.