Immigrants, Race, and Emancipation


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These articles from The Immigrants’ Civil War series look at immigrants, slavery and race during the Civil War Era.

1. 1848: The Year that Created Immigrant America – Revolutions in Europe, famine and oppression in Ireland, and the end of the Mexican War made 1848 a key year in American immigration history.

2. Carl Schurz: From German Radical to American Abolitionist– A teenaged revolutionary of 1848, Carl Schurz brought his passion for equality with him to America.

3. Immigrant Leader Carl Schurz Tells Lincoln to Stand Firm Against Slavery.

4.…And the War Came to Immigrant America -The impact of the firing on Fort Sumter on America’s immigrants

5. The Rabbi Who Seceded From the South-A Baltimore rabbi stands up to slaveholders in his congregation.

6. The St. Louis Germans Set Out To Free Missouri

7. Wilson’s Creek Drowns Immigrant Dream of Free Missouri

8. St. Louis Germans Revived by Missouri Emancipation Proclamation

9. Lincoln Dashes German Immigrants Hopes for Emancipation

10. Irish Green and Black America: Race on the Edge of Civil War.

11. The Democratic Party and the Racial Consciousness of Irish Immigrants Before the Civil War

12. The Confederates Move Against Latino New Mexico

13. Nuevomexicanos Rally As Confederates Move Towards Santa Fe—But For Which Side?

14. The Confederate Army in New Mexico Strikes at Valverde

15. The Confederates Capture Santa Fe and Plot Extermination

16. The Know Nothing Colonel and the Irish Soldier Confronting slavery and bigotry.

17. Did Immigrants Hand New Orleans Over to the Union Army?

18. Did New Orleans’ Immigrants See Union Soldiers As Occupiers or Liberators?

19. Union Leader Ben Butler Seeks Support in New Orleans-When General Ben Butler took command in New Orleans in 1862, it was a Union outpost surrounded by Confederates. Butler drew on his experience as a pro-immigrant politician to win over the city’s Irish and Germans.

21. Union General Ben Butler Leverages Immigrant Politics in New Orleans

22. Peninsula Emancipation: Irish Soldiers Take Steps on the Road to Freedom-The Irish Brigade and Irish soldiers from Boston free slaves along the march to Richmond.

53. Slaves Immigrate from the Confederacy to the United States During the Peninsula Campaign

54. Carl Schurz: To Win the Civil War End Slavery

55. Emancipation 150: “All men are created equal, black and white”– A German immigrant reacts to the Emancipation Proclamation

56. Preliminaries to Emancipation: Race, the Irish, and Lincoln

57. The Politics of Emancipation: Lincoln Suffers Defeat

58. Carl Schurz Blames Lincoln for Defeat

59. The Irish Brigade and Virginia’s Civilians Black and White

60. The Irish Brigade and the Firing of General McClellan

61. Forever Free: Emancipation New Year Day 1863

62. Lee’s Army Moves Towards Gettysburg: Black Refugees Flee

63. The Immigrant Story Behind “Twelve Years a Slave”

64. Five Points on the Edge of the Draft Riots – New York’s most notorious neighborhood most also its most diverse.

65. Before the Draft Riots: The Cultivation of DivisionClass, race, and ethnicity were political fault lines in Civil War Era New York.

66. The New York Draft Riots Begin-The true story of how the riots began.

67. Convulsion of Violence: The First Day of the New York Draft Riots

68. The Draft Riots End in a Sea of Blood-July 14-15, 1863.

69. Pat Cleburne: The Irish Confederate’s Emancipation Proclamation

70. Pat Cleburne: The South Can’t Use Black Soldiers Without Ending Slavery

71. The Suppression of Pat Cleburne’s Emancipation Proposal

72. A Volcano in Virginia: The Battle of the Crater

73. 1864 Election: The Immigrant Voter & Abraham Lincoln

74. August Belmont: The German Jewish Immigrant Who Led the Opposition to Lincoln’s 1864 Reelection

75. Lincoln and the Superiority of the “Negro” over the Irish

76. Lincoln’s Germans and the Election of 1864

77. Lincoln’s German Lawyer Comes Out Swinging in the Election of 1864

78. Lincoln Wins the Election of 1864 With Immigrant Votes

79. American Refugee Camp in Civil War Kentucky Destroyed by Union Soldiers

80. Kentucky Civil War Refugee Camp Reborn and Reconstructed After Expulsions

81. German General Weitzel and His African Canadians at Petersburg

82. Richmond Burning: The German Immigrant and Black Troops Who Saved the City

83. Appomattox: The Capture of a Confederate Army & the Fall from Grace of an Immigrant General

84. German General Carl Schurz Begins His Investigation of the Post-War South

85. Carl Schurz Warned That a “System of Terrorism” Was Taking Hold in the Post-War South in 1865

86. Immigrants in the Union Navy: Minorities in the Majority

87. How Immigrants Were Recruited into the United States Navy

88. African Canadian Sailors in the Union Navy

89.  A Scottish Socialist and a German General Work to Help Slaves Become Freedpeople-Robert Dale Owen, Carl Schurz and the founding of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

90. German Immigrants and the End of Slavery in Missouri

91. 13th Amendment: Immigrants and the end of slavery in America

92. Prelude to a Reconstruction Riot: Irish and Blacks in Memphis 1866

93. The Memphis Massacre of 1866: A Race Riot Pits Irish Immigrants Against Newly Freed Slaves

94. The 14th Amendment, the German Immigrant Carl Schurz, and the Assault on White Superiority Part 1 of The Coming of the 14th Amendment

95. Black Citizenship, Frederick Douglass and German Immigrant Professor Francis Lieber Confront President Andrew Johnson Part of The Coming of the 14th Amendment

96. When the 14th Amendment stalled, a Scottish immigrant stepped up

97. The 14th Amendment and Birthright Citizenship for Children of Immigrants

98. The Civil War Immigrant Who Was a Slave in Africa, Asia, and Europe and a Free Man in the U.S.

99. An African Immigrant Learns About Segregation in 1860s New York City

100. The African Immigrant and the Liberation of Charleston’s Slaves in the Civil War

101. Felix Branigan: An Irish Soldier’s Racism and Redemption

102. Felix Brannigan: The Irish Soldier Wins the Medal of Honor Instead of Deserting

103. Felix Brannigan: The Racist Irish Immigrant Becomes a Defender of Black Freedom

104. When a Ban on the Chinese Was Proposed and Frederick Douglass Spoke Out

105. Immigrant Reporter Henry Villard Visits an Experiment in Black Freedom in 1863

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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