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Jews and the Civil WarA Reader$
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Jonathan D. Sarna and Adam D. Mendelsohn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740910

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740910.001.0001

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That Obnoxious Order

That Obnoxious Order

(p.353) 14 That Obnoxious Order
Jews and the Civil War

John Simon

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on a notorious episode of prejudice against Jews during the Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant's order dated December 17, 1862, expelling “Jews as a class” from the entire territory under his command. Considered “the most sweeping” anti-Jewish official act in all of American history, Grant's General Order No. 11 stemmed from his belief that Jews were to blame for the smuggling and cotton speculation prevalent throughout the area under his watch. This chapter suggests that Grant's anger at the Jews was triggered by the discovery that his father, Jesse Grant, was engaged in cotton speculation, working with a Jewish firm. Instead of chastising his father, Grant went after his father's Jewish partners and at “Jews as a class”.

Keywords:   prejudice, Jews, Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant, General Order No. 11, smuggling, cotton speculation, Jesse Grant

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