News clippings about the de la Penha claim to Labrador

I recently purchased an subscription and it came with an additional perk, a simultaneous subscription to Since I wanted to know more about the de la Penha claim to Labrador, which I’ve written about here before, I started searching for Joseph de la Penha and the following are some of the clips that came up, in order of discovery. My notes will be below each one. (Spoiler alert: Guess what document is in the USA?)


The Times (Hammond, Indiana) clip from 13th of July, 1935.

Um… Sorry. Did someone say $10,000,000? Wow. Although, I am fairly certain Joseph de la Penha was not a rabbi, so some of these Central Press facts are suspect.


Yep. This excerpt is pretty clear about to whom the land is being deeded. And that, folks, is why you shouldn’t lend people money. But if the story of how Joseph de la Penha loaned William of Orange the money to claim the throne in the first place is true, could you image how world history might have played out if de la Penha hadn’t done so?


You guys. You guys! The document still exists (in Photostat form). It’s in the American Jewish Archives in Cininnati, Ohio. Here’s the listing: William III grant, 1697.

Does anyone have any contacts in Ohio?


No real notes on this clip, but I will say the facts in it jive with most accounts.


Money isn’t everything, but that last sentence does make you a little sad for Isaac de la Penha. I’ll quote the bit I mean here: “…otherwise he would be one of the most wealthy men in the world today.” The world.

Just let that sink in a moment.


With the acknowledgement that this article was published two months before the Great Depression started, Labrador was at the time valued at $80 million. Later, it was considered to priceless. That richest man in the world comment in the 70s is making more sense now.


OK, OK, this is the earlier report I’ve found. It’s interesting to learn Isaac de la Penha had three sisters living in New York. So while some later new coverage did mention the many descendants who died in the Holocaust, they wouldn’t have been among them.

Also, the mention of Quebec and Newfoundland fighting over Labrador at the same time is interesting.

10 comments on “News clippings about the de la Penha claim to Labrador

  1. The names in the photo are somewhat screwed up. The men left to right are Elias Springer the older man is his father David Springer . (David Springer a Diamond worker from Amsterdam and in New York). David Springer is looking over the shoulder of his grandson Elias A. Springer who is my grandfather.
    Semon Springer is not in the photo. He was the son of David and father to the young kid in photo. I can’t be certain about the women but the older woman in center looks like Anna Springer the wife of David and the daughter of Abigael (Delmonte) Mello.
    I’m unsure of other womens names.

  2. Funny how this photo has been modified!! I’ve seen a different version with only the men and older woman looking at documents on a table.

  3. Christina how are you related to the De La Penhas?
    P.S. the De La Penha family has a facebook page for their family and all related to them for genealogy purposes. Just search their last name on facebook.

    • Oh cool. I’ll have to check that group out.

      So, I am still not 100 percent sure how I’m related to Jospeh de la Penha, although my great-grandmother Louise Lopes-Cardozo was part of the group that brought the suit that was decided in the 1980s that you shared the link to the other day, so it would be through one of her ancestors. Likely candidates in my family trees are:

      – Rebecca Penha [wife of my fourth great-grand uncle; born Nov. 15, 1789 in Amsterdam; died Jan. 7, 1839]


      – Elias Penha [my seventh great-grandfather; born abt 1718; died April 29, 1784 in Amsterdam]
      > Esther Penha [my sixth great-grandmother; born 1744]
      > Judah Meljado [my fifth great-grandfather; born 1769 in Amsterdam]
      > Rebecca Meljado [my fourth great-grandmother; born 1806 in Amsterdam]
      > Abraham Lopes-Cardozo [my third great-grandfather; born 1838 in Amsterdam]
      > Mozes Lopes-Cardozo [my second great-grandfather; born 1869 in Amsterdam]
      >Louise Lopes-Cardozo [my great-grandmother; born 1903]

  4. Sounds nuts but I just found an article that mentions John Philip Sousa may have been a part of this claim or case at one time. His father was portuguese.

  5. Am looking for more information about I. de La Penha of Montreal and his second son Philip de La Penha. In a Vancouver newspaper dated March 26, 1920, “Mr. and Mrs J. Izen announce the engagement of their third daughter, Birdie, to Philip de La Penha, second son of Rev. I and Mrs I. de La Penha of Montreal, Que.” The Izen’s are my great grandparents. The wedding didn’t take place according to what I know of our family history. However, there was a further announcement on April 15 headed ” Bride Elect Is Honoured at Tea”. No mention of the groom’s family in that article. Thank you.

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