Saturday, December 17, 2005

1862 General Order #11 - Jews Out

On this day, December 17, in 1862, Ulysses S. Grant issued General Order #11, expelling all Jews from the department of Tennessee (TN, KY, MS).

The order was a poor attempt to manage the precarious cotton trade between North and South during the Civil War. The North needed southern cotton for its mills and for the war effort (e.g., for tents) and the ill-advised Grant thought that Jewish traders were subverting the process that controlled the supply of cotton (and price) for the North. It turns out that just about everybody was, including Union army middlemen all along the supply chain.

President Abraham Lincoln got wind of his general's order and rescinded it three days later.

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