29 October 2007

General Grant, Order 11 and the Jews

A book from 1909 is now online detailing General Ulysses S. Grant's infamous Order 11 against the Jews. Additionally, here's information on how to access Google Book's offerings using different online sources if you are located out of the U.S.

In 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant expelled Jews from areas of Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee where his troops were stationed. Another law allowed only Christians to serve as military chaplains. Troops forced 30 Jewish families out of Paducah, Kentucky.

Some 25,000 of the country's 150,000 Jews lived down South as loyal Confederates according to a 2005 Library of Congress exhibit. Grant complained that some Jewish merchants would "roam through the country contrary to government regulations."

Regional Jewish leaders appealed to President Abraham Lincoln who rescinded the order.

"Abraham Lincoln and the Jews," by Isaac Markens (1909) is considered the fullest account of Lincoln's dealings with Jews before and during the Civil War, and covers the outrage in the US Senate and newspapers about Order 11. General Henry Halleck was told to tell Grant the order was unacceptable:

"The President has no objection to your expelling traitors and Jew peddlers, which I suppose was the object of your order," Halleck wrote, according to Markens' account, "but as in terms proscribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deems it necessary to revoke it."

The book is now available online through Google Books, according to a recent issue of Secrecy News, the publication of the Federation of American Scientists.

Be aware that - as with all Google Book offerings - readers in locations outside the U.S. may be restricted in their access to download or read certain offerings. I'm now in London UK and could not view this book.

However, for this book and many others, there are work-arounds.

The Google Book entry indicated it came from the University of Michigan, which has its own digital location - Mirlyn - for its books. In this case, searching MBooks for this volume directed me to the full online text here, where the volume can be viewed as image, full-text and PDF formats, saved, downloaded, printed, etc.



  1. Google Books says: Original from Harvard University. How did you know that it was online at the University of Michigan?

  2. Hello.
    Thanks for writing. When I pulled it up, it said online at the University of Michigan libraries and in the UM online catalog. Likely this digitization is shared among a group of university libraries for the benefit of students and staff. It would be a bit of a trip from Ann Arbor to Cambridge in the winter to check out the original, when the digitized item can be consulted anywhere. University library consortiums normally share such digitizations to make information more accessible.


  3. I now see that the University of Michigan is mentioned under Other editions: About this book.

    Thank you