Draft Riots of '63

gary

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At our Civil War Round Table, the topic was the draft riots of '63. Its roots lay in the labor with the poor Irish immigrants being told that freed blacks would migrate north and take their jobs. It didn't help that some politicians and the media help fuel that concept. What really upset the poor was the substitute fee ($300) that some men could pay to be exempted from serving. $300 could be a year's wages and the poor couldn't afford it. A weak, ineffective mayor (who was gutted of any authority by the State gubmint) didn't help (nor would he have done anything anyway).

The victory and Gettysburg and Grant's victory at Vicksburg upset the Copperhead leadership. Not wanting to throw away the fruits of their labor, they incited the poor who rose up and rioted.

While the Army was needed to quell the rioters, the implications lasted for a long time. 20% of all blacks left New York (down to 10,000 from 12,500). Blacks, who could compete for jobs on the docks were prohibited from dockyard work (lest the entire white work force walk off the job). The speaker went on to connect it to the Reconstruction Era where blacks were allowed to hold Congressional and local office until the Reconciliation Period where Jim Crow laws gradually excluded them.

I didn't catch it all (and can't tie it all in for you) but there's suppose to be a book about it.
 

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ole

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The book is The New York City Draft Riots by Iver Bernstein. It's been out long enough to be in abebooks.com at an affordable price. It's more than you ever wanted to know about the subject.
Ole
 

matthew mckeon

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A recent book about the Draft Riots, "The Devil's Own Work," is worth a look.
 

Hanny

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gary said:
At our Civil War Round Table, the topic was the draft riots of '63. Its roots lay in the labor with the poor Irish immigrants being told that freed blacks would migrate north and take their jobs. It didn't help that some politicians and the media help fuel that concept. What really upset the poor was the substitute fee ($300) that some men could pay to be exempted from serving. $300 could be a year's wages and the poor couldn't afford it. A weak, ineffective mayor (who was gutted of any authority by the State gubmint) didn't help (nor would he have done anything anyway).
Actually no one had to be told, the dockworkers went out on strike for more money, they were predominatly Irish, and negros were brought into replace them by the ship owners. Tt was not a concept, more a process.

That same Mayor after the riots put into place a monetry scheme to pay from municipal funds the exemtion fee of every white who was drafted, the actual reason for the drop in negros in NY was they filled the draft and left NY, and the ship owners acxepted that bringing in negros to break a strike would not be how they would act in the future with the Union of dockworkers, who passed an all white ordinace.
 


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