Mordecai Manuel Noah was born on July 19, 1785 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. His father, Manuel M. Noah, a Jewish patriot of Charleston, South Carolina, is said to have served with General Marion and to have contributed a considerable sum to the Revolutionary cause. His mother, Zipporah Phillips Noah, was the daughter of Robert Phillips, a Jewish merchant of Philadelphia. Noah's early youth was spent in Charleston, South Carolina. At the age of ten, after the death of his mother, he was sent to live with his maternal grandfather in Philadelphia.