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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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In 1894 Walter Johannes Damrosch organized the Damrosch Opera Company, which introduced opera in many American cities.



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

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Drafted men, their relatives and friends, reinforced by thousands of sympathizers who favored some kind of direct action, gathered early in the morning of July 13 on vacant lots with clubs, staves, cart rungs, pieces of iron, and moved as if by agreement to a lot near Central Park where they organized, began patrolling the city, and put the first sign of their wrath and vengeance on the draft offices wrecked and burned. That is, the first acts of the three days' tornado had some semblance of an uprising of the people against a Government discriminating in its conscription between the rich and the poor. The fortunate arrival of the Seventh Regiment and the active efforts of the few officers and troops in the city put down the riot on the fourth day.

One Judge McCunn had held the previous week that the Conscription Act was unconstitutional, and the only forces the President could use for the war, besides the regular army, were volunteers and militia contributed by States.

The draft, however, and the arrangement that any man having $300 could buy his release from military service, were the focal points of the mass drive of the mobs. Robert Nugent, assistant provost marshal in charge of conscription, received on the second day of the riots a telegram from his Washington chief, James B. Fry, directing him to suspend the draft. Governor Seymour and Mayor Opdyke clamored that he should publish this order. Nugent said he had no authority to, but he finally consented to sign his name to a notice: "The draft has been suspended in New York City and Brooklyn," which was published in newspapers. This had a marked quieting effect.

Governor Seymour wrote to the President asking for suspension of the draft, the President replying that he could not consent. "Time is too important." Due credit in the quota would be made for volunteers, Lincoln stipulated; he also said he would be willing to facilitate a decision from the United States Supreme Court on whether the draft law was constitutional. "But I cannot consent to lose the time while it is being obtained....We are contending with an enemy, who, as I understand, drives every able-bodied man he can reach into his ranks, very much as a butcher drives bullocks into a slaughter pen...This produces an army. with a rapidity not to be matched on our side, if we first waste time to re-experiment with the volunteer system."

Lincoln closed this letter of August 7 with saying his purpose was in his action to be "just and constitutional, and yet practical." He was yielding nothing to the astute and persistent Governor of New York, who had at various times so often given words of hope to New York City that the draft would be got rid of.

By what right does the Government of the United States select men for military service and by force thrust them into the Army unless they hire SUBSTITUTES or each pay the Government $300?"

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