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288 pages, ebook
First published October 15, 2013
The most critical law enforcement problem facing the suburbs and the city alike in early 1866 was the hostility between the Irish and the freed people, which had a long history. In the antebellum years, Irish workers in the city – especially draymen, hack drivers, and day laborers – had to compete for jobs with slaves whose masters hired them out for such work. The Irish made no secret of their resentment, which they directed more at the slaves than at their owners. The slaves repaid Irish anger and contempt in full. Rabid anti-black sentiment pervaded not only the ranks of Irish laborers, but also the city police force; but it was held in check by the power of the masters, who would not tolerate abuse of their slaves by anyone but themselves. With emancipation, that restraint on Irish belligerence evaporated.