“I intend to get married when I have leisure,” Mordecai Manuel Noah wrote in the National advocate in 1822. Editor, writer, playwright, politician, lawyer and judge at various points throughout his life, it is no wonder that Noah only found the leisure to marry five years later, at forty-two. It was seventeen year-old Rebecca Esther Jackson for whom Noah found the time.
Rebecca was the eldest daughter of Daniel and Mary Phillips Jackson. Her father, like Noah, was an actively involved in the life of New York’s Jewish community and American politics. Rebecca’s uncle, David Aaron Phillips, approving of the union, characterized Noah as, “a man of good sense and understanding and in every respect a gentleman,” while his gloss on the age discrepancy between husband and wife was: “better to be the old man[‘]s darling than the young one’s drugg [drudge].”
They were married on November 26, 1827 in New York. Just over a year later, the first of their seven children was born.