Julius Silversmith: Early Jewish Educator & Publisher of Victoria, BC

Julius Silversmith

Julius Silversmith ^Editor Weekly Occident-Chicago,IL, #WS3755

Julius Silversmith ^Editor Weekly Occident-Chicago,IL,

Values Codes: I-H-E-L


Julius Silversmith worked in San Francisco during the 1850s, where he was an agent for a German newspaper, and then assistant teacher in the Emanu-El Institute.

This was a Jewish day school run by Daniel Levy on the premises of Temple Emanu-El.

With news of the Fraser River Gold RushJulius Silversmith left his position there, arriving in Victoria in the Spring of 1858.



By December, Julius Silversmith had established the Select Day School on the east side of Broad Street, near Yates.

Tuition was offered to children of both sexes in “the elementary branches of an English education … free from Sectarianism” but it was a school for the wealthier children.

Julius Silversmith taught French and gave music instructions, playing piano, violin and guitar.

The school was successful and he hired Edward Mallandaine to assist with the teaching of French and music.

Both were members of the Victoria Philharmonic Society when it was organized in 1859.


Julius Silversmith suggested to Mallandaine that they do a City Directory of Victoria.

Mallandaine wrote the introduction and compiled the names (from a census) while Julius Silversmith canvassed for advertisers.


Mallandaine, who was trained as an architectural draftsman, made sketches of the buildings for those who would pay extra for their advertisements.

Advertisement from the first City Directory of Victoria

The engraved plates were used in the Directory and then the businesses used them on their bills and stationery.


Since the Directory had to be published in San Francisco, when Julius Silversmith was there he tried to drum up additional advertisers.


Commercial Printers of San Francisco printed 500 copies of Edward Mallandaine’s First Victoria Directory in 1860, copyrighted in California, USA.


Shortly afterwards, Julius Silversmith began publishing the Mining Journal and Scientific Press.

Before leaving VictoriaJulius Silversmith sold the school to Mallandaine.



Julius Silversmith was Secretary of the First Victoria Hebrew Benevolent Society.

Julius Silversmith drew up tenders for the erection of a fence and gates around the society’s new burial ground.

Mallandaine’s drawings and bid won the contract for the Jewish cemetery.


Julius Silversmith left Victoria for Nebraska and then moved to Chicago where he established the Occident newspaper, in 1878, the city’s first English language Jewish weekly newspaper.


General Sources:

  • Pioneer Jews of British Columbia, Cyril Leonoff, editor, Western States Jewish History, Vol. 37, Issue 3/4
  • Lured North of the 49th, Jewish Colonial Roots, by Sarah H. Tobe, Western States Jewish History, Vol. 46, Issue 2/3
  • Archives of Sarah H. Tobe, Cyril E. Leonoff, Christopher J.P. Hanna, and David Rome.

Sarah H. Tobe is Curator of this Julius Silversmith Exhibit.

Any additional information or family pictures would be appreciated.

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