British Labor and the American Civil War

British Labor and the American Civil War

British Labor and the American Civil War

British Labor and the American Civil War


One of the controversies in recent historiography, both in England and the United States, has revolved around the role of the British workers during the American Civil War. Did the workers, especially those in Lancashire, support the North, as the tradition has it, or did they, on the contrary, support the Confederacy? Although the literature on this subject is enormous, there has still been no single volume devoted to the role played by the British workers throughout the island. That is the purpose of this present work.

I owe a debt of gratitude to the staffs of many libraries and historical societies. While I was able to conduct research in England in the course of several visits to that country, this work would never have been completed without the continuing assistance of the staff of the British Museum. I also wish to express my thanks to the staff of the Manchester Central Library for its cooperation and assistance. The staff of the library of McGill University in Montreal, Canada was also of great assistance, making available to me on several visits the microfilm of the Bee-Hive and of the George Howell Papers, as well as other valuable materials in that library relating to British labor history. The late Professor Howard Weinroth of McGill University, himself an outstanding scholar in the field of British labor history, kindly spent hours discussing several important issues with me relating to the development of British labor.

I also wish to thank the staffs of the Tamiment Institute Library of New York University, the Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Oxford University Library, Harvard University Library, the National Archives, Columbia University Library, Bowdoin College Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston Public Library, and Lincoln University Library.

I am indebted to Adrienne Hunter who kindly furnished me with copies of the pertinent issues of the Edinburgh Sentinel while engaged in graduate work at Edinburgh University and to Professor Eric Foner who generously supplied me with reproductions of several items used in the illustration section.

I wish to thank my daughter Elizabeth Van der Paer and my brother Henry Foner, both of whom read the entire manuscript and made useful suggestions. Rosie Rudich of the Institut für Marxismus-Leninismus, Marx-Engels section, German Democratic Republic, read sections of the manuscript and also made useful suggestions for which I am grateful.

Philip S. Foner Emeritus Professor of History Lincoln University Pennsylvania and visiting Professor of History Rutgers University Camden, New Jersey . . .

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