The Most Anti-Semitic Order In American History

“I instructed the Commdg Officer at Columbus [Kentucky] to refuse all permits to Jews to come south, and frequently have had them expelled from the Dept. [of the Tennessee]. But they come in with their Carpet sacks in spite of all that can be done to prevent it. The Jews seem to be a privileged class that can travel any where.” —General Ulysses S. Grant, explaining General Order No. 11

In A Nutshell

In 1862, Ulysses S. Grant issued what might well be the most anti-Semitic order in American history. The Union general demanded that all Jews living in the lower Midwest pack their bags and hit the road. Fortunately, a Confederate cavalry leader, a Jewish Kentuckian, and a president from Illinois saved the day.

The Whole Bushel

The year 1862 was a tumultuous and bloody one in American history. The Civil War was entering its second year, and already thousands of Americans had died at Shiloh, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. However, something strange occurred that year you won’t find in most history books. On December 17, Union general Ulysses S. Grant delivered General Order No. 11, one of the most anti-Semitic documents in American history.

Grant wasn’t yet the head of the Union Army (that wouldn’t happen until 1864). He wasn’t even a household name (that wouldn’t happen until 1862). However, he was in charge of the Department of the Tennessee, an area of land that encompassed everything between the Mississippi River and the Tennessee River and contained the states between northern Mississippi and southern Illinois. In other words, the Department of the Tennessee included a lot more than Tennessee. It was also full of smugglers and cotton speculators, and Grant was getting tired of both of them. Determined to rid his department of thieves and scallywags, Grant issued General Order No. 11, declaring all Jews had to get out and get out now.

According to Grant’s thinking, all those smugglers and speculators had to be Jewish, and they had to be “expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order.” And if any of them tried to come back, Grant would make sure they’d spend time behind bars. However, the order didn’t spark the massive exodus the general had hoped for. In an ironic twist, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest destroyed all the telegraph lines surrounding Grant’s headquarters in Mississippi, preventing the missive from spreading too fast. In other words, Forrest—future grand wizard of the KKK—had unknowingly saved a huge number of Jews from leaving their Southern homes.

However, a few towns were eventually cleared out. On December 28, the Jews of Paducah, Kentucky were kicked out of town, and that ticked off Paducah resident Cesar Kaskel. When the order came that he had to leave, Kaskel left all right: He headed straight to Washington, D.C. With the help of a Republican Congressman, Kaskel was taken to the White House where he met with Abraham Lincoln himself. The President had no idea Grant had issued such a racist order. When Kaskel told him what was going on in Kentucky, Lincoln supposedly said, “And so the children of Israel were driven from the happy land of Canaan?” Kaskel solemnly replied, “Yes, and that is why we have come unto Father Abraham’s bosom, asking protection.”

Honest Abe didn’t discriminate, and he rescinded Grant’s order on January 4, 1863. However, the story wasn’t quite over yet. General Order No. 11 would haunt Grant until his death, and he would spend the rest of his life trying to atone for what he’d done. After Democrats charged him with racism, the 18th president began putting Jews in important federal positions. In fact, Grant appointed more Jews to government offices than any previous American president. Not only that, he actually attended the dedication of a D.C. synagogue, and when Russian and Romanian pogroms drove Jews from their homes, Grant did everything he could to help the displaced. He even publicly apologized for his deeds, claiming if he had actually stopped and thought about what he was doing, he would have canceled the order. While some Jews never forgave Grant, many came to terms with what he’d done. They voted for him in 1868, and many were present when he was laid to rest in his tomb. While General Order No. 11 was a horrible abuse of human rights, it went on to put many Jews in positions of power and inspired the United States to help Jewish people abroad. Perhaps it’s like the Torah says: “Indeed, you intended evil against me, [but] God designed it for good.”

Show Me The Proof

Slate: When Gen. Grant Expelled the Jews
NY Times: The Exodus From Paducah, 1862
History: Lincoln signs Ulysses S. Grant’s commission to command the U.S. Army
PBS: Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and the KKK

  • jihadbob

    Jews. Getting kicked out of other Peoples nations for over a 1000 Years And counting.

    • Scott

      And yet somehow it isn’t their fault. There isn’t smoke without fire. There’s obviously something unpleasant about living around a bunch of Jews. My town has a very small Jewish population though, so I don’t know what it might be.

      • jihadbob

        Yea but admit it and your anti semtic lol.. If hitler killed maybe a million not 6 million jews it was mostly allied bombing cutting supplies to camps, were they fucked up places? Sure. Killing machines? Doubht it probably the same as what we did to the japs no worse id imagine.

        • Ray

          You’re a piece of shit.

          • jihadbob

            Your a propagandist fed jew media retard. Kill yourself.

          • Ray

            Awww, the inbred stupid piece of shit is mad at me.

          • jihadbob

            Inbred but my parents are from different countries, try again. You lil bitch your so inbred when you got circumcised you just kicked your sister in the jaw. Faggot

          • cobhc1x
          • Ray

            You’re a stupid bastard.

          • cobhc1x

            Read or watch an animated video of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

      • Ray

        You’re also a piece of shit.

      • Liege_Lord

        Definitely deserves to be down votes. “There isn’t smoke without fire”, that is like a 10-year olds simplistic perspective. Ever heard of a smoke machine? Have you ever seen a Teflon pan burn? Yes, there can be smoke without fire…….
        You are seriously saying, well it happened so there had to be a legitimate reason. No, not always my friend, it was bigotry at its finest, and to say there is obviously something unpleasant about living around “a bunch of jews” shows how narrow minded your opinion is. You should learn not to discriminate against entire groups of people, especially ones that are centralized around education, family, and peace.

    • Ray

      Every time you comment I hear dueling banjos. Do you like screwing your mom or is that more like a job?

      • Kevin Kling

        damn u n jihadbob r goin hard this is some funny stuff dude

      • jihadbob

        Oh look hes calling me i guess a redneck? This idiot didn’t understand what i said the jews are a horrible culture and have been kicked out of countries for millenniums, i think your mad i have top vote here let me give you one.

        • Ray

          You probably just voted on it yourself because I doubt there are 13 inbred morons that would vote for that kind of stupidity. Do us all a favor and take care of your sis… your children instead of commenting on this site. Do you think of them as your children or nieces and nephews?

  • matthewmess

    It would be nice if this had included the real reason for the expulsion, Jewish merchants were doing business with the North and the South as well. It was not purely racist.

    • Liege_Lord

      That is very short sighted…. are you trying to claim that the Jews were the only group of people that traded between the North and the South? That is absolutely incorrect, there were number groups that bartered between forces, and at times even the Union and the Confederates traded amongst themselves.

      Also, I understand that being Jewish is unique to certain group ideology because it is more than a religion (a cultural history); but you are grouping people together on a macro basis and saying “All Jews = this”, that is racist my friend. Learn to be objective in your opinions and not categorize entire groups.

      • matthewmess

        I’m not. The ordered referred to unlicensed black market Jewish cotton traders and other unprincipled traders, Grant had no problem with licensed Jewish traders or sutler owners. It was the enforcement of it that made the entire Jewish community a target.

        • Liege_Lord

          How about this.. why call them unlicensed black market Jewish cotton traders… why not unlicensed black market cotton traders? See… what you are not seeing is that the adjective Jewish is irrelevant to the illegal act, what does the religion or cultural background have to do with unlicensed black market cotton trading? Are you claiming 100% of all unlicensed black market cotton traders were Jewish?
          Because that is a bold claim.
          What this DOES indicate is that only the Jews were targeted, and if you were a black market cotton trader who was Christian it is OK.
          Do you follow my logic now? Why target a portion of the illegal participants, or bother to discriminate between them? There is no need for the “Jewish’ label, simply exile all black market cotton traders…. it’s not complicated.

    • OC

      They left that out for a reason. Even slavers, ritual murderers, and ethnic cleansers have REASONS for their actions.

  • DrAnders

    Sorry to say this, but I am allergic for the word “Anti-Semitic”…. as for the whole racism and other variants of “ism” hype that is growing around it.

    Simply because its more so exploited now in this time, then suffered.
    There is just to much attitude/group polarization going around it as well, to a point where right or wrong doesn’t matter anymore.

    We need to keep things real, in a world where the strongest survive 🙂

    • OC

      It’s not the STRONGEST who necessarily survive. Mostly it’s is the most evil, most amoral, greediest, most godless, the laziest, most demonic, most dissatisfied, most psychologically warped, who triumph.

      • DrAnders

        As long its not the weakest who lead 🙂 im good.
        Which can be measured by a lot of things other then physical strength.

        • OC

          Eventually people will take EXTREME measures to get rid of the Lazy the Evil. Then you’ll feel like a victim.

          • DrAnders

            That is wishful thinking 🙂
            Take for example the bystander effect, which proves that in most cases people tent do nothing at all even if they have the power to stop it. But rather mingle in the crowd and make pictures of it all where in the end they usually lie on top of it to, to justify the by standing.
            So it all comes to the one strong (willed/smart/physical/etc) person to step forward to do the right thing….

            Or exploit victory of others to rewrite history (hence the saying “the victor writes history”).
            If you start for example on something more recent like for example the history that is written about and around world war 2, you be amazed how much history is actually fictional or over exaggerated (google for example, the most lied about person in history).

            Anyways for the “Anti-Semitic”, “ism” words and etc. They are nothing more then empowering words to those that use it, nothing more nothing less.

    • OC

      🙂

  • OC

    Columbus was Jewish. And he had a grand old time killing native people whom he himself described as kind, welcoming, generous, helpful, totally without malice, ect. For no reason whatsoever except the joy of killing. Just throwing that out there.