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Posted on: February 27, 2018

Irvington Historical Society presents "The Gettysburg Campaign & the NYC Draft Riots"

                                Irvington Historical Society


      The Gettysburg Campaign and the New York City Draft Riots: 

                                Conspiracy or Coincidence?


                                        Barnet Schecter

                           Sunday, March 18, 2018, at 2 p.m.

                                       Admission is Free

                       Irvington Public Library, 12 So. Astor St.



“The Gettysburg Campaign and the New York City Draft Riots: Conspiracy or Coincidence?” On July 13, 1863, just ten days after the Union victory at Gettysburg, the streets of New York erupted in the worst riots in American history. The four days of mob rule nearly destroyed the commercial, financial, and industrial hub of the Union war effort. Were the riots a spontaneous working-class rebellion against a discriminatory draft law that exempted those rich enough to pay $300 or present a substitute? Or were they part of a concerted military strategy hatched in Richmond and aided by New York Copperheads to create a fire in the rear during Lee’s invasion of the North? Barnet Schecter weighs the evidence and explores the battle lines of race, class, religion, and politics that made Civil War New York a powder-keg of social conflict.

Talk is based on Schecter’s book, The Devil’s Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America (2005, Walker & Company). Now out of print.

The talk will be illustrated with slides.

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