Irish Attack Free Blacks...

Discussion in 'Politics and Politicians of the Antebellum period' started by 5fish, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    One of the untold stories of Irish immigration to America is that they took the Free Blacks unskilled jobs within the cities like New York, Philadelphia and others... Yes, the Irish were displacing the local Free Blacks who many had been in these cities since the revolutionary days...

    Ireland... https://www.theroot.com/the-divide-between-blacks-and-the-irish-1790878916

    The Penal Laws regulated every aspect of Irish life and established Irish Catholics as an oppressed race.

    On two occasions officials with judiciary authority in Ireland declared that "the law does not suppose any such person to exist as an Irish Roman Catholic."

    Snip...

    .As they came to the cities, they were crowded into districts that became centers of crime, vice and disease.

    They commonly found themselves thrown together with free Negroes. Blacks and the Irish fought each other and the police, socialized and occasionally intermarried, and developed a common culture of the lowly.

    In 1834 a mostly Irish mob in Philadelphia rampaged through the black district. By the time they subsided, two black people were killed and many beaten. Two churches and upwards of 20 homes were laid waste, their contents looted or destroyed. A committee appointed to investigate the riot identified as a principal cause the belief that some employers were hiring black workers over whites.

    Black workers had traditionally been an important part of the waterfront workforce in New York, Philadelphia and other northern cities, as well as Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans and other Southern ports. In 1850, Irish laborers in New York demanded the dismissal of a black laborer who was working alongside them.

    During the strike of 1852 and again in 1855, 1862 and 1863, Irish longshoremen battled black workers who had been brought in to take their places.

    The underlying cause of the New York Riot of 1863, misnamed the Draft Riot, was the employment of black workers on the docks.

    Snip...

    "Irish gangs not only drove blacks out of jobs, they also served as surrogate unions."

    In August 1862, a largely Irish mob in Brooklyn attacked the black employees, chiefly women and children, who were working in a tobacco factory

    The mob, having driven the black employees to the upper stories of the building, then set fire to the first floor.

    The factory was allowed to reopen only when the employer promised to dismiss the Negroes and hire Irish.

    Snip... Irish pro-slavery...

    Irish attitudes toward the free Negro in the North led them to oppose abolition.

    In 1838 an Irish mob burned just-completed Pennsylvania Hall, built by subscription to serve as a center for abolitionist meetings. It was not that the Irish supported slavery:

    They would have been happy to see slavery abolished, provided all the black folk could have been kept on the plantations or shipped out of the country altogether

    The competition among Irish and black laborers failed to lead to unity because it did not take place under normal labor market conditions but was distorted by the color line.

    As we see the Irish ruthlessly fought and push the Free Blacks out of thier position within the cities leading up to the Civil War... They share the same social class at first...

    Blacks and Irish Immigrants: 1840 to 1860 - Black New York

    macaulay.cuny.edu

    By 1841, about 100,000 Irish Catholic immigrants had flooded into the city, and this number soared in the wake of the Irish potato famine in 1846.

    The blacks and Irish immigrants shared commonalities in terms of social status and economic standing and were thus forced to compete for the worst housing and lowest paying jobs in the city.

    Evidently, they faced direct competition for jobs in labor market with the blacks. Resentment and hatred resulted from competition which escalated racial tension between these two groups. The Irish immigrants took the blacks' jobs away since they were willing to work for less money. In addition, the blacks took over Irish jobs when they went on strike. As a result, ethnic violence and gang activities increased. Civil disobedience spread throughout New York City, and later on led to the outbreak of the Draft Riots.
     
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  2. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    going to add more insult to the Irish...

    Link: http://ushistoryscene.com/article/nyc-draft-riots/

    New York City entered an era of radical racial competition and gender reform that would last until the onset of World War I.

    Although they later rioted against competition from black workers, in many cases, these immigrants had taken jobs from free blacks residing in the North. For decades, black men worked menial and lower-skill jobs for middling wages as “longshoremen…brick makers, whitewashers, coachmen, stablemen, porters, bootblacks, barbers, and waiters in hotels and restaurants,” while black women made up the majority of “domestic maids, cooks…laundresses and seamstresses.

    Snip... Movies always make Five Points an Irish area...

    The Five Points District, was a notorious multiethnic and immigrant-heavy Manhattan slum comprised of the five intersecting corners of than Anthony, Orange, and Cross streets.

    It was a working-class neighborhood infamous for its gang violence, as depicted above in dramatized fashion. Many Irish immigrants settled here alongside poor free blacks.

    As a result, many immigrants not only took the place of black laborers but also significantly drove down wages.

    Free Blacks had communities being destroyed by the Irish wave...

    Link:https://virtualny.ashp.cuny.edu/draftriots/Intro/draft_riot_intro_2.html

    some as slaves, some as free people-- since well before the Revolutionary War. The city's African-American community grew during the first four decades of the nineteenth century, establishing and sustaining churches, newspapers, literary societies, and free schools. Black workers lived in close proximity to white workers in racially mixed communities that dotted the lower half of Manhattan

    Working-class African Americans competed directly with immigrants, especially newly arrived Irish, for unskilled jobs, a competition that often turned ugly and violent in the years before the war.
     
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  3. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    Here how successful the Free Black of New York before the Irish immigrate washed up on our shores...

    Blacks-Encyclopedia of New York City

    New York City has played a pivotal role in the history of black Americans. The city during the nineteenth century was a center of abolitionism, the site of influential black churches, benevolent organizations, and schools, and a focus of sometimes violent conflict between blacks and European immigrants. After the turn of the century Harlem became internationally known as a center of black nationalism and other forms of political activism, and of the literary and artistic movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. In later years the city's black community increased its political power and eventually accounted for more than a quarter of the total population.

    Snip...

    In 1821 the state legislature ruled that African-Americans could vote only if they owned property worth at least $250, while at the same time it eliminated the property qualification for white male voters. Not surprisingly there were only sixteen qualified African-American voters in 1825 and sixty-eight in 1835. Most employed African-Americans in the nineteenth century did unskilled work: men often were laborers and women domestic servants. In 1825 more than one fifth of the African-American residents of Manhattan lived in the slums of the sixth ward, which spread from the Five Points north and west to the Hudson River.

    Snip...

    Freedom's Journal, was launched in 1827 by the abolitionist minister Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm, one of the first blacks in the United States to receive a college degree. Its goal was to improve the political and economic standing of free blacks and agitate for the end of slavery. The newspaper later changed its name to Rights for All before ceasing publication in 1829. Other black newspapers in New York City in the nineteenth century were the Colored American (1837), the Ram's Horn, the Anglo-African (1859), and Frederick Douglass's North Star (1847). Williams helped to form the African Dorcas Society (1828), a women's sewing group that made clothing for young black students so that they could attend the African Free Schools. Many middle-class blacks opened restaurants, the most successful of which were Thomas Van Renesselaer's Eating House on Wall Street, Katy Ferguson's Pastry Shop on Thompson Street, Downing's Oyster House on Broad Street, and Cato's in lower Manhattan

    Snip...

    By 1850 most of the city's blacks were living in or near Greenwich Village, and by 1860 others had settled on the West Side between 10th and 30th streets, the infamous Tenderloin. After accounting for 5 percent of the city's population in 1840, blacks in 1860 accounted for less than 2 percent.

    The link has more to read... https://virtualny.ashp.cuny.edu/EncyNYC/Blacks_for_draft_riots.html
     
  4. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    Philadephia the Irish rioted... even Nativist vs Catholics...

    Link:https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/riots-1830s-and-1840s/

    The black population in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs more than doubled in the first three decades of the nineteenth century, from 6,880 in 1800 to 15,624 in 1830. Coinciding, but not caused by this growth, was the increase in the abolitionist movement.

    On August 11, 1834, white and black citizens quarreled over seats on a merry-go-round known as the “flying horses” near Seventh and South Streets.

    However, destruction continued over the next two days as white mobs tore down a black church in Southwark, sacked the First African Presbyterian Church, destroyed more than thirty black homes, and beat any black citizen in their path.

    Minor skirmishes continued over the next few days, but Philadelphia’s first widespread race riot ended on August 14, 1834.

    The political and jurisdiction fragmentation of the city and its surrounding districts did little to deflate or combat those tensions. Increased job competition among ethnic and racial groups, in particular between Irish and black workers, brought intermittent fighting that exploded into a full-scale riot in August 1842.

    Explosive and destructive incidents of rioting occurred in multiple urban centers in the United States during the 1830s and 1840s, including Boston, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

    Over the next two years the rise of Nativist and Protestant sentiment combined with the sharp increase in Irish Catholic immigration brought tensions to a fever pitch in the spring of 1844.
     
  5. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    In Detroit riots 1863... fanned by a paper...

    From wiki...

    The City Council was dominated by Democrats, and many of the Irish and German immigrants belonged to that party. The Detroit Free Press was a Democratic Party paper that was opposed to President Abraham Lincoln's conduct of the American Civil War and its increasing demand for recruits. The newspaper advocated white supremacy and was pro-labor.[2] In the months leading up to the riot, the newspaper frequently published articles connecting "blacks to labor problems, blacks to citizenship issues, blacks to the war, and blacks to crime and general degradation of the moral order", stressing how they were a threat to working-class white men and their limited power.[2] Following the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863, the newspaper published articles that frequently opposed the interests of white labor and blacks

    Snip... spark ...

    A mixed-race man, William Faulkner, was arrested for allegedly molesting a young white girl, and tried in court. (The two girls whose testimony was critical to his arrest both recanted their stories years later.) Although Faulkner had voted regularly (a privilege reserved to whites) and identified as Spanish-Indian, both newspapers described him as "negro", and that was how the whites came to regard him.[2]

    Snip...

    Survivors said the mob attacked black businesses and houses, looting them of anything valuable, and stealing from the residents. The whites eventually moved beyond the black area into poor white areas, continuing the destruction. Some blacks fled the area, going across the Detroit River to Canada or west to what was then the independent community of Corktown. The city finally ordered in troops from Ypsilanti and Fort Wayne, and by 11 p.m. had suppressed the violence. More than 200 blacks and some whites had lost their homes to the destruction. There was an estimated $15,000 to 20,000 in property damage, mostly suffered by blacks.[2]

    Snip... end...

    Faulkner was convicted and sentenced to prison for life. Several years later, the two girls who testified against him recanted their story, and Faulkner was pardoned. He returned to Detroit, where some white businessmen helped him start a produce business.[3]
     
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  6. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    The Irish keep on giving but how have they been able to escape their past behavior towards Free Blacks of the North...

    So far as far back as 1829 in Cincinnati the Irish lead another riot against the local Free black community with one purpose to drive them from the city...

    Racism and economic tensions fulminated in Cincinnati, Ohio in August of 1829, resulting in white violence against African Americans over a two-week period in August 17-22.

    White mobs estimated at times at 200 to 300 led by Irish immigrants invaded the riverfront area where African Americans lived with the avowed intent to drive them all out of the city.

    A number of them emigrated to Canada to a community they named Wilberforce. Those who stayed behind attempted to rebuild their lives but experienced further white assaults in 1836 and beyond.

    Causes for the violence were rooted in racial animus exacerbated by competition for jobs. Free blacks and increasing numbers of African Americans who had escaped slavery in the South arrived in Cincinnati with hopes of safety and economic opportunity.


    Snip... the article goes into how the Free Blacks were not welcome in Ohio and passed laws trying to limit their immigration... These laws were the pretext for the riot...

    Cincinnati whites expressed alarm at the growth of the black population in the city, especially those deemed indigent. City leaders invoked the Black Act of 1807, a state law which had been installed to limit African American migration into Ohio

    However, on June 30, the Cincinnati Daily Gazette printed a notice warning that the city would rigidly enforce the Black Act of 1807 within 30 days: all black residents must enter into bond by that time or face expulsion.

    Nevertheless, from the night of August 15 through August 22, white mobs estimated at up to 300 people rioted in the Fourth Ward, where the majority of the city’s 2,250 African Americans lived. The mob destroyed businesses, burned residences and other structures, and assaulted black residents.


    Do the Irish have any more race riots they lead and took part in... Hummm...
     
  7. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    Something to add... How has the Irish kept their hands clean about their behavior towards Free Blacks and Slavery in the 19th century... if you are going to hold the Southerners accountable then the Irish need to be held accountable... along with Southern Jews that owned slaves... soiled hands are soiled hands...

    Link:https://www.irishtimes.com/blogs/ge...came-white-immigrants-in-mid-19th-century-us/

    In those days, the Irish immigrants had much in common with African-Americans; they might be nicknamed “Negroes turned inside out” while African-Americans would be “smoked Irish”. A quip, attributed to an African-American, went something like this: “My master is a great tyrant, he treats me like a common Irishman.” In the census of 1850, the term “mulatto” appears for the first time, due primarily to inter-marriage between Irish and African-Americans.

    However this “alliance of the oppressed” did not happen.

    The Irish supported the continuance of slavery, turning their backs on the Abolitionist cause, “while Irish American repealers maintained a pride and love for their homeland, they acted unabashedly American in the way they dealt with the slavery controversy”

    For the poor, Black or White, Italian or Chinese, the equation was simple: “work or starve”. Men fought each other, physically, for jobs, driving a wedge between their cultural communities. For the Irish in this “dog-eat-dog” job market, support of abolition would not have been a high priority.

    Snip... wonder if true...this whine about 1790 law... how would poor Irish even know about the law...

    Another deterrent to Irish support of abolition may have been the United States Naturalization Law of 1790 that restricted naturalization to “free white persons” and of “good moral character”. The aspiring citizen pledged to support the Constitution of the United States. Therefore the Irish may have hesitated to support Abolition, seeing it as a threat to the Constitution.

    Unfortunately, the Irish went beyond passive support of slavery: “that the democratic party, and particularly the poorer class of Irish immigrants in America, are greater enemies to the Negro population, and greater advocates for the continuance of Negro slavery, than any portion of the population in the free States.”
     
  8. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    I found this by our own @Pat Young. He wrote an article and it was about Memphis but he points out the 1866 race riot in Memphis was again led by the Irish attacking the new Freedmen...

    Link:https://longislandwins.com/columns/...ion-riot-irish-and-blacks-in-memphis-in-1866/

    Black codes were enacted in state after state in the eight months before the Memphis riots. Many of the states allowed blacks to be whipped for minor offenses, just like they had been in slave days. By the Spring of 1866 African Americans were finding their new “freedom” precarious and dangerous. As violence increased throughout the occupied South, conflicts developed between the freed people and Memphis’s important Irish community. The presence of black troops in the city led to a clash that set many of the city’s Irish on a path of destruction. 16

    Snip from wiki but this time the Irish controlled the city government...

    Prior to the war, Irish immigrants had constituted a major wave of newcomers to the city: ethnic Irish made up 9.9 percent of the population in 1850, when there were 8,841 people in the city.[8] The population expanded at a rapid rate by 1860 to 22,623,[8] and the Irish constituted 23.2 percent.[14][15][16] They encountered considerable discrimination, but by 1860, they occupied most positions in the police force, and had gained many elected and patronage positions in city government, including the mayor's office.[17] But the Irish also competed with free blacks for lower-class jobs rejected by native whites, contributing to animosity between the two groups[7] (similar animosity between working class whites, including Irish immigrants, and free blacks competing for jobs were among the causes of acts of violence in the North, also, including the 1863 New York City draft riots).

    I just want to point out it is always the Irish throwing the first punch and starting the riots against Free Blacks...
     
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