Skip to comments.Anti-Lincoln Gangs of New York
Posted on 01/06/2003 5:58:13 AM PST by billbears
Martin Scorceses new movie, "The Gangs of New York," is remarkable in that it accurately portrays the New York City working classs violent opposition to the Lincoln administration during the War for Southern Independence. At one point in the movie, as the caskets of dead New Yorkers are piled up on the docks, a large crowd chants, "New York should secede!" "New York should secede!"
In another scene Irish immigrants who have been in the U.S. for only a few days are told to sign one piece of paper that grants them citizenship and another one that enrolls them in the Union army. They are completely unaware of their fate: One immigrant asks, "Where are we going?" "Tennessee" is the answer, to which he responds: "Wheres that?" These men were to go down south to ostensibly teach the grandchildren of Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry what it really means to be an American. Thousands of them would be slaughtered after being ordered by General Ulysses S. Grant to charge into Robert E. Lees well-entrenched army.
The climax of the movie is the New York City draft riots of July 1863. The government began enforcing Lincolns conscription law, accurately depicted in a newspaper headline in the film as "The First Federal Conscription Law." The wealthy Republican industrialists and bankers who were the backbone of the Republican Party saw to it that Lincolns conscription law would spare their own male children by allowing one to buy ones way out of the draft for $300. This led to violent protests against the inequity of "a rich mans war." In the film a young draftee confronts one of Lincolns conscription enforcers by screaming into his face, "Who the hell has $300?!" "Who the hell has $300?!"
The draftees knew perfectly well who has $300, so that in mid July of 1863 they went on a week-long rampage, targeting the houses and property of the Republican Party elite of New York City. New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, who had become a Republican Party mouthpiece, is shown running for his life from a dinner party at a palace-like residence in the good part of town as the draft protesters break the windows and loot the house. As Iver Bernstein wrote in The New York City Draft Riots, "Rioters tore through expensive Republican homes on Lexington Avenue and took or more often destroyed pictures with gilt frames, elegant pier glasses, sofas, chairs, clocks, furniture of every kind."
Scorcese and his producers obviously did their homework and must have read Bernsteins book. All during the scene of the draft riots there is a reading of headlines describing the events. Having read extensively about the draft riots myself, I recognized almost all of this script as being accurate, such as the burning down of a black orphanage and of the offices of Greeleys newspaper.
Another perfectly accurate portrayal is the hunting down and murdering of any and all black people who were unfortunate enough to be on the streets of New York. Since Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation had recently declared emancipation to be a purpose of the war, the draft protesters vented their hatred for Lincoln and his war on the hapless black people of New York City. There are scenes in the movie of black men being beaten to death and lynched, which once again is perfectly accurate.
Just as realistic is the scene where thousands of federal troops are called up from the recently concluded Battle of Gettysburg and ordered to fire indiscriminately into the crowds. Hundreds of unarmed draft protesters, including women and children, are gunned down and are shown laying dead in the streets. This really happened, and is well documented in Bernsteins book and elsewhere, but most Americans have never heard of it (naturally). Gunships are also shown bombarding the parts of the city where the rioting was taking place.
An eyewitness to the riots was Colonel Arthur Fremantle, the British emissary to the Confederate government who happened to be heading back to England at the time from the Port of New York. In his memoirs of his time with Robert E. Lees Army of Northern Virginia entitled Three Months in the Southern States, Fremantle wrote of the riots:
The reports of outrages, hangings, and murder, were now most alarming, the terror and anxiety were universal. All shops were shut: all carriages and omnibuses had ceased running. No colored man or woman was visible or safe in the streets, or even in his own dwelling. Telegraphs were cut, and railroad tracks torn up. The draft was suspended, and the mob evidently had the upper hand. The people who cant pay $300 naturally hate being forced to fight in order to liberate the very race who they are most anxious should be slaves. It is their direct interest not only that all slaves should remain slaves, but that the free Northern Negroes who compete with them for labor should be sent to the South also.
Scorcese and his producers must also have read Fremantles book as well as The Fremantle Diary, which also discusses the draft riots.
"The Gangs of New York" is truly remarkable for its accurate portrayal of anti-Lincoln protesters in New York City in 1863, which has to be the most politically incorrect movie segment of the past several decades. This should pique the publics curiosity about the true history of Lincolns war. It is a good prelude to an even more stunning cinematic event about Lincolns war, the movie "Gods and Generals," which is scheduled for release on February 27.
LOL. I hate to break it to the party loyal but many things Democrats of that time espoused were what Republicans of today believe. See party flip-flop from 1940-1970. Thanks. Don't need to go to another worship abe site
And you know this because...? Are you implying that only leftist liberals would protest an unjust war?
This paragraph is from an article written in the 1930s and can be found at :"http://www.weisbord.org/FourSixSeven.htm". Some interesting reading at this website and gives one an insight into the liberal psyche.
"Lincoln was EEEEeeevvvvvvvvvilll.....Lincoln was EEEEEeeeevvvvvvvvvvvvvilllll....."
Sounds like a pro-reparations argument.
I saw it last Friday, and the only surprise to me is that Tommy took this long to work it into one of his columns. I have no doubt that you will find it as 'historically accurate' as DiLusional did.
Under the Union draft act men faced the possibility of conscription in July 1863 and in Mar., July, and Dec. 1864. Draft riots ensued, notably in New York in 1863. Of the 249,259 18-to-35-year-old men whose names were drawn, only about 6% served, the rest paying commutation or hiring a substitute--Source: "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War" Edited by Patricia L. Faust
And while we're at it, perhaps you could tell us about abe's 'volunteer' army in '61, an action mind you which caused several other states that hadn't yet to secede
LOL. Well the Sandburg/McPherson brainwashings no longer work on me Non. Hopefully your eyes were opened to at least some of the truth when you saw the movie
You may have excellent grounds to sue Mr. Lincoln posthumously.
Good luck and keep us posted on how it turns out for you.
So instead you and Tommy turn to that well known historian Martin Scorsese. Well, that does explain a lot about Tommy's comlumns.
Hopefully your eyes were opened to at least some of the truth when you saw the movie.
Oh yes, I'm now conviced that all Irish thugs looked like Leonardo DiCaprio and all Irish streetwalkers look like Cameron Diaz.
Seriously, the story line is crap but Daniel Day Lewis is worth the price of admission alone
Yes, they did. Lincoln's initial call in April, 1861 for 75,000 volunteers was met to overflowing. --That-- call was authorized by the Militia Act of 1792.
Only 6% of Union soldiers were produced by the draft. Between 1/4 and 1/3 of CSA soldiers were drafted; in fact, the so-called CSA government extended the enlistments of most of the insurgent army involuntarily. This is one of the reasons the rebel army was rent by desertions later on.
Fremantle also predicted an inevitable rebel victory.
Tommy, Tommy, Tommy.
What were all these dead people laying?
Their bodies were probably lying in the streets.
For some reason, Day-Lewis hasn't made a movie since 1997. I hope to see "Gangs" this week.
And, pray tell, just what newly invented agricultural machinery was that? And why just the Irish? Why not the French, Germans, and Italians, too? Oh my God, could it be that Lincoln was even more racist that we thought????? Well, it's a damned good thing that the south had that bastion of tolerance, Jefferson Davis, running the show. All he wanted to do with Blacks was own them.
None of that is supported in the record.
President Lincoln did support relocation schemes during 1862. He -never- suggested that anyone be forced out of the country. He wanted to get the shooting stopped. When neither white nor black would agree to relocation or emancipated compensation, he quickly swung to the other tack and vigorously supported enlisting large numbers of black soldiers. President Lincoln dropped support for colonization after the beginning of 1863. He supported voting rights for black soldiers also.
Lincoln dealt equitably with the indians. In the 1862 Minnesota indian uprisings, he forbade the hanging of 260 indians (out of 303) that federal authorities had already marked for death.
Abraham Lincoln was a great and good man, and his reputation can stand attacks from ignoramouses like you.
I can't believe how much this issue affects people who never had to live thru it. (No, Civil War reenactments don't count).
Maybe you could sue Lincoln as well.
Where was Hood's army? Where were the other rebel armies? Allowing armies of 60,000 to roam around and plunder -- that sounds like bad plannning by the secesh to me.
In discussions with General Grant in the fall of 1864, Robert E. Lee refused to treat captured black Union soldiers as prisoners of war. Sounds to me like he was more racist than President Lincoln.
Cool; that's the anniversary of Lincoln's Cooper Union speech that brought him to national prominence. I mean, all he said in that speech was that the framers of the government had favored an end to slavery and federal control of the territories.
That made the slave power just go --nuts--.
And the war came.
Right. The Ken Burns' "Civil War" covered the riots and pretty much included everything Tommy Delusional was able to turn into internet dross.
"On election day, federal soldiers, armed with bayonets, guarded the polls and arrested suspected Southern sympathizers; many of these soldiers also voted illegally."
-Sobran, February 2001
"He (Gen Burbridge) began by saying, he was no speaker nor politician, that he stood before the large rebel element, he knew to be before him, to represent the power of the Sword in the hands of the Govt, and to say that the men who did not vote for Mr Lincoln, would be proved the enemies of that Gov't, and would be treated as such after the election. As for those who sympathized with the South, he would send them South, if he had to"
-General William Preston of Kentucky (October-November 1864 elections)
-Sobran, February 2001
Did you cut and paste that? Nevermind.
Wasn't it you that quited David Donald on Lincoln's "bayonets" in New York?
"But there were limits to what Lincoln would do to secure a second term.
He did not even consider canceling or postponing the election. Even had that been constitutionally possible, "the election was a necessity." "We can not have free government without elections," he explained; "and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us." He did not postpone the September draft call, even though Republican politicians from all across the North entreated him to do so. Because Indiana failed to permit its soldiers to vote in the field, he was entirely willing to furlough Sherman's regiments so that they could go home and vote in the October state elections -but he made a point of telling Sherman, "They need not remain for the Presidential election, but may return to you at once."
Though it was clear that the election was going to be a very close one, Lincoln did not try to increase the Republican electoral vote by rushing the admission of new states like Colorado and Nebraska, both of which would surely have voted for his reelection. On October 31, in accordance with an act of Congress, he did proclaim Nevada a state, but he showed little interest in the legislation admitting the new state. Despite the suspicion of both Democrats and Radicals, he made no effort to force the readmission of Louisiana, Tennessee, and other Southern states, partially reconstructed but still under military control, so that they could cast their electoral votes for him. He reminded a delegation from Tennessee that it was the Congress, not the Chief Executive, that had the power to decide whether a state's electoral votes were to be counted and announced firmly, Except it be to give protection against violence, I decline to interfere in any way with the presidential election.
"Lincoln", pp. 539-40 by David H. Donald
This is very interesting I guess, but it doesn't explain why the head of the Republican National Party approached Lincoln and asked him not to run for re-election because he had no chance of winning.
There is always some voter fraud, but there is no compelling evidence that it was abnormal in the 1864 election.
You might want to be careful in this -- someone might ask why Lincoln's name didn't even appear on the ballot in most of the so-called seceded states in 1860.
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