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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: New York City Draft Riots of July 1863

There were a number of Draft Riots in the spring and summer of 1863. Ohio, Pa. New York City, Troy and Albany, New York, Philadelphia and Boston.

While Black residents took the brunt of the anger at NYC, it varied with the community. The recruits at Readsville, Ma. were called out to the Boston Armory, and when it came time for them to board ship for deployment a few weeks later, the marching route was changed for fear of trouble.

New York was the longest and bloodiest-and had some causes beyond the draft itself. One was the fact that there had been two teamster strikes. Until shortly before this time, the stevedores had been virtually all Negro, but as the Irish immigrants came in, they began to take over, and actively agitated to get rid of the Blacks. They formed a Union, and by July 63, were very powerful. New York residents also felt they had already provided enough troops, and when the names from the draft were printed in the weekend papers, that was all it took. The mob element took over, and the militia and regular army had to be called in to finally quell it. Among destruction was the Colored Orphan Asylum, which was burned to the ground. A very large, imposing building, it stood on an entire city block on Fifth Avenue.
In NYC, a year later, USCT marched down the streets to cheers and a huge celebration, with refreshments and a flag presentation.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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