I have obtained information regarding the origin of the "Memorandum for my Children," written by Henry M. Hyams, Lt. Governor of Louisiana, which contains much biographical information about the Hyams and Levy families (see my earlier post for full text of the memorandum).
In the book, "Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Statesman" by Robert Douthat Meade (Oxford University Press, 1943), Meade writes that Benjamin's mother, Rebecca de Mendes, was the child of the Spanish Sephardic Jew, Solomon de Mendes, and the Dutch Jewess Eva Levy." [Eva Levy's sister, Miriam Levy, is my 4th great-grandmother, having married Samuel Myers Hyams, Sr.] The footnote to this statement, on p. 381, fn. 9 to Chapter 1, reads as follows:
"From original memorandum of Lieut. Governor Henry M. Hyams, Sr. of Louisiana, written in a family Bible about 1860. Copy thorough courtesy of Hyams's granddaughter, Mrs. Judith Hyams Douglas of New Orleans. In the memorandum, Hyams, a descendant of Eleazar Levy of Holland, a brother of Eva Levy (sic - he was her father), says that Eleazar 'was a man of good education and highly instructed in the Hebrew Language and Literature.' And as for Eva, she was said to have 'been of great beauty' and to have become 'the wife of a very opulent Spanish Jewish merchant [De Mendez] . . . This marriage between the Portugee and the Tedaesqua [from which issued the mother of Judah P. Benjamin] was the first of any note in Europe as . . . the educated rich and proud . . . De Mendez, exiled as he was, held in all the capitals of Europe, a social position high above the Native Jew and especially in Holland and Germany." Brackets in original footnote.