200 Substitues Wanted!

Creator: D.W. Belisle

Context: This 1864 poster highlights the practice of substitution, a process that allowed wealthy men who were drafted into the army to pay poorer men to serve for them.

Audience: Poor whites and African-American men.

Purpose: To use money to persuade poor men to take rich men's place in the army.

Historical Significance: Substitution was a loophole in both the Union and Confederate drafts that angered many working-class men in both the North and the South. The belief that poor men were fighting and dying for the interests of the rich was a primary reason for the riots that occurred in New York City in 1863.