July 13-15, 1863 The New York Draft Riots 155th Anniversary

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Pat Young

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The New York Draft Riots began on July 13, 1863. This week I wanted to recall that horrible time with five articles I wrote on the riots in 2013. The first article looks at the most famous, and infamous, immigrant neighborhood in the days before the riots began. The Five Points was the locus of New York’s Irish community. Famous, and famously misrepresented, the demolished neighborhood is New York’s modern Foley Square and Chinatown. http://www.longislandwins.com/columns/detail/five_points_on_the_edge_of_the_draft_riots


The second article in our series on the New York Draft Riots looks at the climate of discord in New York City in the middle year of the Civil War:

http://www.longislandwins.com/columns/detail/draft_riots_the_cultivation_of_division


There are many legends about the Draft Riots, but the third article gives you the documented facts about the beginning of the riots on July 13, 1863.

http://www.longislandwins.com/columns/detail/the_new_york_draft_riots_begin


After beginning as an anti-draft protest, the New York riots quickly descended into a violent outburst against police, the wealthy, and the city’s African Americans. Read about New York during its terrible trial on the afternoon of July 13 and the morning of July 14, 1863.

http://www.longislandwins.com/columns/detail/convulsion_of_violence_in_new_york_draft_riots


The final day of the Draft Riots, July 15, 1863, was one of the bloodiest in New York history.

http://www.longislandwins.com/columns/detail/the_draft_riots_end_in_a_sea_of_blood
 

archieclement

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Do they have a reenactment?

We have reenactment of the Palmyra Massacre, it brings home mans inhumanity to man, and helps bring such events home.. I've always been amazed if you are talking about it abstractly how many people will say "well that would never here" apparently not realizing it has already happened here...….
 
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wausaubob

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Fernando Woods does not come across as an appealing character. The idea that New York was going to function as a separate city state, ignoring that it had grown based on the Erie Canal and its railroad connections to a vast empire, was a dangerous idea to propose.
 
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Pat Young

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Fernando Woods does not come across as an appealing character. The idea that New York was going to function as a separate city state, ignoring that it had grown based on the Erie Canal and its railroad connections to a vast empire, was a dangerous idea to propose.
He was consistently dangerous.
 

wausaubob

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10,000 rioters can create a lot of news. However in the 1860's the combined population of Brooklyn and New York was about 1,000,000. Which means most people were not rioting, no matter how sympathetic they were the issues created by the anti-government protesters.
There were several riots. Some occurred during the secessionist crisis and some during the draft crisis. It seems to have been a poor tactical choice and drew more repression.
 

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Fernando Woods does not come across as an appealing character. The idea that New York was going to function as a separate city state, ignoring that it had grown based on the Erie Canal and its railroad connections to a vast empire, was a dangerous idea to propose.
He was consistently dangerous.
Just another "typical" Tammany politician. I appreciate that both he and his understudy William Marcy "Boss" Tweed were depicted in the film Gangs of New York.
 
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Just another "typical" Tammany politician. I appreciate that both he and his understudy William Marcy "Boss" Tweed were depicted in the film Gangs of New York.
Fernando Wood also depicted onscreen in Spielberg's Lincoln movie.
 

Pat Young

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Just another "typical" Tammany politician. I appreciate that both he and his understudy William Marcy "Boss" Tweed were depicted in the film Gangs of New York.
Wood was actually Mozart Hall, a rival of Tammany.

Tammany was War Democrat and Mozart was Peace Democrat.
 

Bruce Vail

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Sympathy for the Confederacy in NYC should not be overstated, Fernando Wood and the Draft Riots notwithstanding.

Wood' proposal for NYC to secede from the union was basically laughed out of the room:

https://untappedcities.com/2014/01/07/on-this-day-in-nyc-history-january-7th-1861-nyc-mayor-fernando-wood-a-motion-for-manhattan-to-secede-from-the-union/

And the Draft Riots were more an expression of class resentment against NYC's Upper Crust than real support for the Confederacy, or for slavery.

NYC, in fact, would develop as one of the strongest bastions of pro-Union sentiment anywhere in the country. Once the War was begun, the wealthy Wall Street types rallied around Lincoln. In 1862, anti-slavery Lincoln supporter George Opdyke was elected Mayor, replacing Wood.
 
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E_just_E

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10,000 rioters can create a lot of news. However in the 1860's the combined population of Brooklyn and New York was about 1,000,000. Which means most people were not rioting, no matter how sympathetic they were the issues created by the anti-government protesters.
There were several riots. Some occurred during the secessionist crisis and some during the draft crisis. It seems to have been a poor tactical choice and drew more repression.
10,000 rioters can do a lot of damage, even if the 99% of the population are not rioting, since 10,000 are multiples to the numbers of the local police forces esp. during the CW.
 

E_just_E

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Was googling about the PA draft riots and found this reference from the Digital Public Library of America regarding the NY riots with a bit of original material

Link here.
 
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