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Disturbances Which Were Called Riots In Earlier Times 1855

The Great New York Police Riot 1857 and The Five Points Riot of New York 1857
The Staten Island Riot: The Quarantine Conflagration September 2, 1858

The Staten Island Riot: The Quarantine War September 3, 1858

The Astor Place Riot 1859 and A Riot Among The Soldiers of the Third Regiment Irish Brigade 1861

Mob Excitement in Brooklyn 1861

The Draft Riot in New York City 1863 Part I: President Lincoln's Proclamations

The Draft Riot in New York City 1863 Part II: Bounties/Substitutes

The Draft Riot in New York City 1863 Part III: The New York Draft Riot

The Colored Orphan Asylum Riot 1863

The Orangemen Riot 1870-1871 and Near Riot at Tompkins Square 1877

Mob Attacks Meyer's Saloon 1893

Riot Preceded the Parade of Cloakmakers 1894

College Boys Cause A Riot and A Race Riot On The West Side of Manhattan 1900


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Frank Huno Damrosch organized the Musical Art Society in 1893. His most important work was the founding of the Institute of Musical Art in 1905.




The Draft Riot In New York City 1863 Part III:  The New York Draft Riot

MILITARY DRAFTS a drawing by lot to select men to fill the ranks of the Army in time of war.

The method of increasing the Army by draft was first resorted to in 1814, during the war with Great Britain. Militia men only were subject to this draft, and the result was unsatisfactory. During the Civil War an effort was made to recruit the Army by a draft upon the militia. A bill having this object in view failed in Congress on the ground of unconstitutionality. Another bill, prepared without reference to the militia, but operative upon every able-bodied male citizen of military age, passed Congress May 3, 1863. An attempt to enforce this act caused a serious outbreak of the lawless element of the people of New York City. The city was in the hands of a mob for 3 or 4 days and much valuable property was destroyed. Apr. 16, 1862 and July 18, 1863, the Confederate congress passed conscription laws.

In the year 1863, it was necessary for the Federal Government to institute a draft to supply the depleted armies of the nation, then engaged in a life and death struggle for the preservation of the Union. The draft went into effect in New York on July eleventh, and was followed by riots in
several parts of the city. One of the objects of attack by the rioters was the building of the New York Tribune on Park Row. On the thirteenth, Governor Horatio Seymour arrived in the city and went to the City Hall. A great crowd of rioters who had resumed their attack on the Tribune building heard of his presence and flocked into the Park and were addressed by the governor. He was overcome by the sight of the riotous mob, and either lost his head or purposely attempted to conciliate them by making them believe he was friendly to them and their actions. He even went so far as to call them "My friends," as he stood between the Tammany leaders William M. Tweed and A. Oakey Hall and spoke to a noisy crowd in front of the City Hall on the second day of the uprising. " I implore you to take care that no man's property or person is injured. I rely on you, and if you refrain from further riotous acts, I will see to it that your rights shall be protected. On Saturday last I sent the Adjutant-General of the State to Washington to urge postponement of the draft. The question of the legality of the Conscription Act will go before the Courts. If the Act be declared legal I pledge myself, the State and the city authorities to see that there shall be no inequality between the rich and poor." The mob cheered him to the echo, and thus encouraged, dispersed to resume their work of murder and destruction.

Never before in an American metropolis had the police, merchants, bankers, and forces of law and order had their power wrenched loose by mobs so skillfully led, with so direct a strategy of seizing armories, guns, munitions, supplies, with announced aims of getting possession of the United States Treasury vaults and the surplus funds of banks, along with forts, communications, and approaches to the city.

During the three days of July 13, 14, 15, mobs or crowds that met by prearrangement, with a specific design as to what points they would attack. There were two points in Broadway at which danger was expected from the rioters; these were No. 1190, where the provost-marshal had established one of the wheels for drawing names, the other was at Broadway and Twenty-second Street, where was the office of U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue, George P. Putnam. The drawing lasted during the forenoon of July eleventh at 1190, but was stopped by the marshal at that time, as the riot had begun. The mob drove out the United States provost marshal from his office at Forty-third Street and Third Avenue, wrecked the wheel or revolving drum from which the names of drafted men were drawn, tore to pieces the books and papers, broke up the furniture, poured turpentine on the floor, set the building on fire, fought off police and firemen, burned the draft office and six adjoining buildings.

They wrecked and burned the United States draft office on Broadway two doors from Twenty-ninth Street, looted stores near by, and burned twelve buildings; they smashed windows and doors and sacked the home of the Republican Mayor Opdyke and burned at midnight the home of the United States Postmaster Abram Wakeman, first stripping the premises of furniture and clothing; they burned a ferry house, hotels, drugstores, clothing stores, factories, saloons where they were refused free liquor, police stations, a Methodist church, a Protestant mission, the Colored Orphan Asylum at Forty-third Street and Lexington Avenue. They erected for protection and refuge barricades on First Avenue from Eleventh to Fourteenth streets, on Ninth Avenue from Thirty-second to Forty-third streets, with smaller barricades across intersecting thoroughfares. They yelled " To hell with the draft and the war!"; they yelled "Tell Old Abe to come to New York!'

They destroyed shipyards, railroad and streetcar lines, and cut telegraph wires connecting with Albany. They killed, crippled, or bruised policemen till at the end of the third day nearly the whole force was ineffective; among their first victims was Superintendent of Police John Kennedy, who received seventy-two gashes, wounds, and bruises and managed to live through; among the later victims was Colonel H.T. O'Brien of the 11th regiment of the State guard, who was stoned and kicked to death and received in a gutter the ministrations of a passing Catholic priest. They destroyed property estimated at $5,000,000 in value.

In Broadway, itself, a mob was attacked and scattered in the neighborhood of Bleecker Street by the police held in reserve at police headquarters in Mulberry Street, the rioters being at the time on their way to attack that building.

The mobs were not driven in their work by mere blind wrath. Somebody had done some thinking, somebody had chosen a time when all the State guards the Governor could scrape together had gone to Gettysburg. The only organized force ready against the first riots was a police department of 1,500 members. With club and revolver they had fought night and day, and their dead lay in scores, their wounded and gashed by the hundreds.


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