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[From our Washington Correspondent]

To the Editors of the "Jewish Messenger."

Residents of Washington derive no inconsiderable amusement from the perusal of the so-called "news," hailing from this place, and supplied to the metropolitan journals with such reckless professes. Contrary to the usual rule, quantity, and not quality, is what the dear and patient public seem to require; and the natural consequence is, facts, stubborn facts, are at a discount, and imagination of the most approved bug-a-boo style is in high request, and finds ready listeners. If all the sensation-mongers could only be persuaded to make up a pleasant party, and take a six months' tour of Europe— although it would bankrupt the telegraph companies— the community would be surprised to find how soon the lowering clouds, which now obstruct the political horizon, would give place to the bright sunshine of a nation's happiness. I have never ceased to have an abiding faith in the returning sense of the well-intentioned, though, perhaps, misguided masses of the people, and I think it requires no prophetic vision to discern a happy consummation, and that too shortly, of the wish nearest and dearest to every American heart— the settlement, upon a firm and solid basis, of our national troubles. May the Almighty so will it!

Apropos of the Union. I must remark, that we have a rich treat in store for your gay beaux and belles, — the grand "Union Ball" announced for Inauguration night, and I would like to see our people well represented on the occasion. A building to cost $4,000, exclusive of decorations, to to be specially built in the rear of our City Hall, with a main entrance through that spacious and beautiful edifice. The committee, composed of the most eminent men in the country, of all known and unknown political affinities, promise a most recherché re-union. The tickets are to be $10 each, admitting a gentleman and as many ladies as he may have the moral courage to bring with him. Supper and wines without limit, being included in the price of admission, I can very well fancy that some people will get the full worth of their money. More anon.

A casual observer would hardly believe that our people in this city number over eighty families; but such I am informed in the case, though the contributing members to the Congregation are only twenty-nine, who worship in the third story of a very untidy building, which is the more to be regretted— not the worship, but the presence of the accumulated dirt in and about the entrance way— because the attendance is good, and disposition manifest to adhere to the rites of our Holy religion, worthy of a more congenial locality.

A short time ago, an effort was made to purchase a church for $10,000, and convert it into a Synagogue, but as a matter of course, the limited number of contributors, who are mostly persons of limited means, prevented the attainment of their meritorious object. With but a small addition to the rent they are now under, they could borrow money sufficient, say $4,000, to put up an unpretending, though appropriate building, in a retired neighborhood, fully equal to their present and future wants for some time to come. Here, as elsewhere, among our people, our high notions are in an inverse ratio to the means at our command, and, although I would be the last to discourage the commendable desire to erect costly Temples to the worship of the God of Israel, still I would think that object but poorly attained if inextricable debt were the consequence.

In my next (whenever that may be) I propose giving you some account of the last levee of the season at the President's, with the remarks of my learned and well known friend A. Chootsper, Esq., who accompanied me.


Washington, D.C., Feb. 18, 1861

Letters of "Semi Occasional"