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Men Is CheapExposing the Frauds of Free Labor in Civil War America$
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Brian P. Luskey

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469654324

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469654324.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

A Great Social Problem

A Great Social Problem

(p.177) 6 A Great Social Problem
Men Is Cheap

Brian P. Luskey

University of North Carolina Press

The war for Union, Abraham Lincoln reasoned, would be won on its balance sheet as much as in the hearts and minds of its citizens. This was true both from the perspective of the War Department and individual northern households. Union soldiers—volunteers, draftees, and substitutes—poured from the North toward the South to vanquish the slaveholders’ aristocracy. The manpower that went into their killing and dying work produced the movement of thousands of white and black southern refugees to the households of white northerners. Recruiters, brokers, benevolent societies, and northern families—all believers that free labor could emancipate them—would try to seize the power, the capital, embedded in the labor of the men, women, and children fleeing to them. Doing so would help them win the war for Union.

Keywords:   Abraham Lincoln, Union soldiers, refugees, substitutes, recruitment brokers, northern households, free labor, capital

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