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Henry Cohen papers

Identifier: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00020

Scope and Contents

Papers concern Cohen's career and those of members of his family; his social welfare activities, especially in the fields of prison reform, hospitals, schools, and immigration. Papers include correspondence, diaries, notebooks, financial records, sermons, poetry, lectures, photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, scrapbooks, certificates, postcards, galley proofs, and guest books.


  • Creation: 1825 - 1951


Conditions Governing Access

A portion of this collection is stored remotely; contact repository in advance for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no use restrictions on this collection. Publisher is responsible for complying with copyright law.

Biographical Note

Henry Cohen was born April 7, 1863 in London, England. In 1884, he was ordained a rabbi and led congregations in Kingston, Jamaica (1884-1885), and Woodville, Mississippi (1885-1888), before transferring to Galveston, Texas, where he led Congregation B'nai Israel from 1888 to 1949. In 1889, he married Mollie Levy of Galveston. The couple had two children. Cohen quickly became a prominent community leader in Texas and was influential in religious and social welfare activism. He was especially well-known for his work with hospitals, schools, and immigration. From 1907 to 1914, Cohen helped lead the Galveston Movement, a U.S. immigration plan that encouraged Jewish immigrants fleeing eastern European and Russian persecution to settle away from East Coast cities and pass through the port of Galveston before settling in the western United States. Cohen was also a noted prison reformer and served on the Texas Prison Board. A Talmudic scholar, Cohen published a number of essays on the subject. Cohen retired as rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in September 1949 and continued to serve his congregation as rabbi emeritus until his death on June 12, 1952.


67.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials






Catalan; Valencian



Henry Cohen was rabbi of Congregation B'nai Israel in Galveston, Texas, from 1888 to 1949. Papers document his religious and social welfare activities and other interests.


Papers are organized into nine series:

  • Personal Correspondence
  • Prison Records
  • Classified Files
  • Personal Writings
  • Financial Records
  • Clippings from Foreign Newspapers
  • Oversize Items
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Uncataloged Microfilm

Microfilm available

Material in the following boxes of the Henry Cohen Papers are available on microfilm: Personal Correspondence, Box 3M224 thru 3M247; and Personal Writings, Box 3M330 thru 3M333. Consult the Microfilm series to identify the corresponding reels. Contact repository for more information.

OCLC Number


Processing Information

This collection was revised by Evan Hocker, 2005; and Elizabeth Seeley, January 2020.


Henry Cohen Papers, 1825-1951
Ready To Publish
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • Tue Jul 22 15:26:12 CDT 2003: urn:taro:utexas.cah.00020 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (20030505).
  • 02/08/2005: Formatting revised, edited by Evan Hocker
  • 01/07/2019: Description revised, edited by Elizabeth Seeley
  • 01/07/2019: Reintegrated Henry Cohen materials in Boxes 107 through 118 of the Texas Collection (TXC) into the Henry Cohen papers (Boxes 78-50/1 through 78-50/10)
  • 07/12/2022: Microfilm series revised to link to Microfilm Collection location, by Colleen Hobbs.

Repository Details

Part of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History Repository

2300 Red River Street
Austin TX 78712