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July 14, 1863: The day the North End said ‘no’ to conscription

The North End riot happened one day after the bigger New York Draft Riots pictured above (picture courtesy http://clevelandcivilwarroundtable.com/)

The Boston Draft Riot of July 14, 1863, is remembered more as the “North End Draft Riot,” since it began in the North End and the worst part of it occurred in the nei. The context was the American Civil War and the resistance of many Irish immigrants to conscription into the Union Army. Immigrant resistance stemmed in part to the fact that the wealthy had the option to pay a $300 substitution fee, which was often purchased by the destitute to support their families, giving rise to the saying that the Civil War was “a rich man’s war but ...

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