Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ferdinand Fleishman: Tragedy in Civil War Era Cincinnati

A previous post aluded to the tragic end of Ferdinand Fleishman. Ferdinand left Quincy, FL during the war. The Israelite told his story in its July 22, 1864 issue:
"CINCINNATI - Some five or six weeks ago, Fred. A. Fleischman, a German, of the Israelitish faith, twenty-eight years of age, arrived in this city as a refugee from Florida. He took the oath of allegience at Key West, January 28, 1864. He has been boarding at the Sylvester House, but Friday evening went to the residence of Mr. Oehlman on East Fifth street, and retired to his room at an early hour. In the morning his door was found locked, and no answer was made to knocking on the door, or repeated calls. Finally the door was forced upon, and Fleischman found lying on the floor, with a pillow under his head, his right arm bent over the shoulder, almost in contact with the temple, and beneath it a pistol, which had fallen from his hand after the discharge. The pistol is a small, singled-barreled breach-loader, partially covered with blood, and had been discharged, portions of the catridge still remaining in the barrell. He had placed himself in an easy position, and must have died instantly. As additional evidence that he had commited suicide designedly, he left on a sheet of fools-cap a note to Mr. Oehlman, as follows: "Mr. Oehlman - My clothes are at Mr. Moore's. You will find $31 in my pants pocket. Let my wife know. Ferdinand." Fleischman was suffering from a depression of spirit, induced partly by the expected arrival of his wife and four children, from Quincey, Florida, where he resided and owned considerable property, and partly by his cold reception on his arrival in New York, by those whose duty and pleasure it should have been to give him succor and extend to him the warm hand of friendship in this his hour of adversity. We most heartily sympathize with the bereaved family, and hope that the God of Israel will give them consolation."
Ferdinand had been mentioned in "The Israelite" a few years earlier. H. Loewenthal sent the paper a report, published on Dec. 21, 1860, of his visit to Florida where had had been called as a mohel. Loewenthal performed the brit mila for Ferdinand Fleishman's son in Quincy and reported that "I must confess that I never met with a more liberal set of men and women than I found in those I there become acquainted with. I am only sorry my time was too brief and my heart too wounded on account of my too recent affliction - you know I lost my wife lately."
Ferdinand was born about 1835 in Bavaria and was listed as a merchant in the 1860 census. He also worked for a while at the Aspalaga post office in 1859. Ferdinand and Fannie Davis, born in the late 1830s in Baden, Germany, were married in Gadsden County on Nov. 7, 1859. Fannie was listed in the 1860 census as having a fancy goods store. Ferdinand and Fannie had four children, Albert and Mary, both born about 1860, and Joseph and Bertha, both born about two years later. The child brought into the convenant by Loewenthal was certainly Albert. The 1860 census lists Fanny and Ferdinand with a two year old child, Samuel. Unlike Fannie's four children with Ferdinand, the 1870 census lists Samuel's last name as Davis. It is unclear whether Samuel is a child of Fannie's from a previous marriage or the child of a relative. The 1860 Gadsden census listed a S.M. Davis, born about 1838, clerk from Hessia Germany and the 1850 Gadsden census listed a Lewis Davis, a peddler born about 1820 in Germany. The connection between these people is unclear.
As reported in a previous post, Ferdinand seems to have found a substitute to serve in Florida's 6th Infantry Regiment, probably in mid-1862 when Simon and Benjamin enlisted and set off for the North in late 1863.
A few years after Ferdinand's suicide, Fannie married Morris Warendolff, a native of Prussia. Fannie and Morris were living in Gadsden County as of the 1870 census. This census lists two young children: Alexander (age 3) and Bernhard (age 1), both born in New Jersey. It is unclear whether these were Fannie's own offspring or Morris's from a previous marriage. The Israelite article describing Ferdinand's suicide reports the impending arrival of Fannie and her four children, suggesting that she may have gone North after all in 1864 and that the fifth child, Samuel, was not hers. Perhaps she met Morris in the North and married in New Jersey and had two children there. It is impossible to determine.
By 1880, Fannie was living in Brooklyn, with Samuel (now named Warndolff), her four children named Fleishman, the two Warndolff boys born in New Jersey, and three more Warendolff children who are defintiely Fannie's: Victor (born Florida 1871), Herman (born New York 1874) and Edward (born New York 1876). Morris is not listed with the family - presumably he was dead. It seems that Fannie later married a individual named Manheimer.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION POSTED AUG. 31, 2009: Like Ferdinand, Samuel Fleishman had also lived in Quincy before moving to Marianna. In the Tallahasee Floridian & Journal dated Jan. 26 1856, the following announcement is found:
PHILIP M. FLEISHMAN and FERDINAND A. FLEISHMAN, under the firm of P. & F. Fleishman, having purchased the entire stock of S. M. Fleishman, will continue the business at the old stand, and respectfully solicit a continuance of the patronage of their friends and the public in general.
The subscriber having sold his entire stock to P. & F. Fleishman, would respectfully solicit in their behalf, a continuance of that favor so liberally bestowed on him.
Quincy, Fla. Jan 1, 1856

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