Saddleworth Historical Society lecture to shed light on Lancashire’s darkest days

Saddleworth Historical Society will be hosting a lecture on Wednesday, May 11 looking at ‘Distress in Lancashire: The Cotton Famine and British Intervention in the American Civil War’. 

Cotton famine Image
Cotton famine

The lecture will be given at Uppermill Conservative Club by Dr David Brown, a Senior Lecturer in American Studies at Manchester University.

The blockade on southern ports during the American Civil War (1861-65) saw Lancashire unable to import the cotton, vital to the running of its factories and mills, leading to dire hardship of the working people.

The distress led Abraham Lincoln to write “I know and deeply deplore the sufferings which the working-men of Manchester, and in all Europe, are called to endure in this crisis.”

But the blockade was Lincoln’s doing and, though ultimately it never came to it, British involvement in the war seemed inevitable.

The talk will reconsider the case for British intervention in the American Civil War.

While most scholars suggest it was unlikely, could the Lancashire cotton famine have forced the British government to break its policy of neutrality?

The talk will be held on Wednesday, May 11 at 7.30pm at The Conservative Club on High Street, Uppermill, Saddleworth, OL3 6AP.  Members Free, Non-Members £3.


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