SHMUEL L. MARKUS (MARKEZ)
He was one of the pioneers of the Yiddish press in the United States. When the follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and publisher Nakhmen-Ber Etelzon recognized in the 1870s that a Yiddish newspaper in Chicago could have success, he invited Markus to be its editor and began to publish the weekly Izraelitishe prese (Israelite press). The newspaper appeared in eight pages with three columns to a page. It also carried a Hebrew supplement entitled “Hekhal haivriya” (Palace of Hebrew). The contributors were rabbis and Orthodox Enlighteners, and the weekly was distributed over all Jewish communities in North America. The Yiddish section of the newspaper was mainly filled with information, while in the Hebrew section scholars in Chicago published their treatments on matters of Torah and research. It appeared in Chicago 1877-1879, later moving to New York where it came out until April 9, 1884. Markus later worked with Sorezohn in Yudishe gazetten (Jewish gazette) and Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper)—in New York. We now have only two photographic copies of Izraelitishe prese, one from the third year of publication (Chicago, dated April 4, 1879) and a second from the eighth year (New York, April 9, 1884), the very day that the newspaper ceased publication. The former is reproduced in Pinkes fun amopteyl fun yivo (Records of the American division of YIVO), vol. 1 (New York, 1928), p. 139. In that issue Etelzon is listed as the publisher and Sh. L. Markus as the editor. Markus’s memoirs were published in the jubilee issue of Yidishes tageblat in New York (March 20, 1910), and republished in the anthology Tsu der geshikhte fun der yidisher prese in amerike (Toward a history of the Yiddish press in America) (New York, 1934), pp. 46-48.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (in the biography of N. B. Etelzon); Kalmen Marmor, in Yudisher rekord (Chicago) (September 1916); Marmor, in Pinkes fun amopteyl fun yivo (Records of the American division of YIVO), vol. 1 (New York, 1928), pp. 49-52, 130; Marmor, Der onheyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (The beginning of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1944), pp. 11, 19, 129; E. R. Malachi, in Hadoar (New York) (November 27, 1936); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Zamlbukh lekoved dem tsveyhundert un fuftsikstn yoyvl fun der yidisher prese, 1686-1936 (Anthology in honor of the 250th jubilee of the Yiddish press, 1686-1936), ed. Dr. Y. Shatski (New York, 1937), pp. 116-20; Shtarkman, in Pinkas shikago (Records of Chicago) (1952), p. 71; Shtarkman, in Metsuda (London) 7 (1954), p. 516; Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1940); Niger, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5,” p. 98.