Purveying Patriotic Pageantry: The Civil War Sanitary Fairs in New York

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Authors
Madway, Lorraine
Issue Date
2012
Type
Article
Language
en_US
Keywords
New York--History , United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865 , Civil War , Sanitary Fairs
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Abstract

This article examines the five Civil War sanitary fairs that took place in New York State from December 1863 to April 1864. More fairs were held in New York than any other state, not surprising since it was the largest, most populated, wealthiest, and most powerful state in the Union. These fairs, which were elaborate spectacles of consumption and entertainment, served the practical function of providing funds for medical supplies and other necessary materials for the Union army. The article analyzes the rich visual culture of New York’s fairs to illustrate how these pageants effectively garnered public support for the war effort and helped to redefine the meaning of nationhood during the conflict. The article also demonstrates the essential role women played in organizing and executing the sanitary fairs.

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© 2012 by The New York State Historical Association. Posted on SOAR with the right holder permission.
Citation
Madway, Lorraine. 2012. Purveying Patriotic Pageantry: The Civil War Sanitary Fairs in New York. -- New York History 93.4 (Fall 2012): 268-301
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The New York State Historical Association
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0146-437x
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