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- The Great Riots of New York 1712 to 1873 - 1/40 -


THE

GREAT RIOTS

OF

NEW YORK

1712 to 1873

INCLUDING A FULL AND COMPLETE ACCOUNT

OF THE

FOUR DAYS' DRAFT RIOT OF 1863

By HON. J.T. HEADLEY

TO

THE METROPOLITAN POLICE,

WHOSE

UNWAVERING FIDELITY AND COURAGE IN THE PAST,

ARE A SURE GUARANTEE OF WHAT THEY WILL DO

FOR

NEW YORK CITY IN THE FUTURE,

THIS WORK

IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED

BY

THE AUTHOR.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

1. BURNING OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL'S OFFICE

2. THE OLD NEW YORK HOSPITAL, SCENE OF THE DOCTORS' RIOT

3. COLORED ORPHAN ASYLUM (ERECTED SINCE THE RIOT)

4. HEADQUARTERS METROPOLITAN POLICE

5. HEADQUARTERS METROPOLITAN FIRE DEPARTMENT

6. FORT LAFAYETTE, NEW YORK HARBOR

7. FORT HAMILTON, NEW YORK HARBOR

8. SCENE IN LEXINGTON AVENUE

9. ATTACK ON THE TRIBUNE OFFICE

10. FIGHT BETWEEN RIOTERS AND MILITIA

11. HANGING AND BURNING A NEGRO IN CLARKSON STREET

12. THE DEAD SERGEANT IN TWENTY-SECOND STREET

13. DRAGGING COLONEL O'BRIEN'S BODY IN THE STREET

14. BURNING SECOND AVENUE ARMORY

15. RECEIVING DEAD BODIES AT THE MORGUE

PREFACE.

The materials for the descriptions of the Negro and Doctors' Riots were gathered from the Archives of the Historical Society; those of the immediately succeeding ones, from the press of the times.

For the scenes and incidents that occurred on the stage and behind the curtain in the Astor-place Opera Riot, I am indebted to a pamphlet entitled "_Behind the Scenes_."

The materials for the history of the Draft Riots were obtained in part from the Daily Press, and in part from the City and Military Authorities, especially Commissioner Acton, Seth Hawley, General Brown, and Colonel Frothingham, who succeeded in putting them down.

Mr. David Barnes, who published, some ten years ago, a pamphlet entitled "The Metropolitan Police," kindly furnished me facts relating to the Police Department of great value, and which saved me much labor and time.

Much difficulty has been encountered in gathering together, from various quarters, the facts spread over a century and a half, but it is believed that everything necessary to a complete understanding of the subjects treated of has been given, consistent with the continuity and interest of the narrative.

Of course some minor riots--a collection of mobs that were easily dispersed by the police, and were characterized by no prolonged struggle or striking incidents--are not mentioned.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Character of a City illustrated by Riots.--New Material for History of Draft Riots.--History of the Rebellion incomplete without History of them.--The Fate of the Nation resting on the Issues of the Struggle in New York City.--The best Plan to adopt for Protection against Mobs.

CHAPTER II.

THE NEGRO RIOTS OF 1712-1741.

Almost impossible for the present Generation to comprehend its true Character and Effect on the People.--Description of New York at that Time.--The Negro Slaves.--The Negro Riot of 1712.--Description of it.--The Winter of 1741.--Governor's House burned down.--Other Fires.--Suspicion of the People.--Arrest and Imprisonment of the Blacks.--Reward offered for the supposed Conspirators.--Alarm and Flight of the Inhabitants.-- Examination and Confession of Mary Burton.--Peggy, the Newfoundland Beauty, and the Hughson Family.--The Conspiracy.--Executions.--Fast.-- Hughson's Hearing.--Hung in Chains.--The Body, and that of a Negro, left to swing and rot in the Air.--Strange Change in the Appearances of the Bodies.--The People throng to look at them.--Negroes burned at the Stake. --Terrific Spectacle.--Bloody Summer.--Execution of a Catholic Priest.-- Strange Scenes.--Upper Classes accused.--Executions stopped.--Reason of the Panic.

CHAPTER III.

THE STAMP-ACT RIOT OF 1765.

Thorough Understanding of the Principles of Liberty by the People.--The Stamp Act.--How viewed by the Colonists.--Colden strengthens Fort George in Alarm.--Arrival of the Stamps.--How the News was received by the Sons of Liberty.--A Bold Placard.--Stamp Distributor frightened.--Patriotic Action of the Merchants.--Public Demonstration against the Stamp Act.-- Colden takes Refuge in the Fort.--Dare not fire on the People.--The People at the Gate demand the Stamps.--Colden and Lord Bute hung in Effigy.-- Colden's Coach-house broken open.--The Images placed in the Coach, and dragged with Shouts through the Streets.--Hung again in Sight of the Fort.--A Bonfire made of the Fence around Bowling Green, and the Governor's Carriages, while the Garrison look silently on.--Prejudice against Coaches.--Major James' House sacked.--Great Joy and Demonstration at the Repeal of the Stamp Act.--Celebration of the King's Birthday.-- Loyalty of the People.--Mutiny Act.--A Riot becomes a Great Rebellion.

CHAPTER IV.

DOCTORS' RIOT, 1788.

Body-snatching.--Bodies dug up by Medical Students.--Excitement of the People.--Effect of the Discovery of a human Limb from the Hospital.--Mob ransack the Building.--Destruction of Anatomical Specimens.--Arrival of Mayor, and Imprisonment of Students.--Second Day.--Examination of Columbia College and Physicians' Houses.--Appeal of the Mayor and distinguished Citizens to the Mob.--Mob attempt to break into Jail and seize the Students.--The Fight.--The Military called out.--Beaten by the Mob.-- Larger Military Force called out.--Attacked by the Mob.--Deadly Firing.-- Great Excitement.--Flight of Doctors and Students.

CHAPTER V.

SPRING ELECTION RIOTS OF 1834.

Fatal Error in our Naturalization Laws.--Our Experiment of Self-government not a fair one.--Fruit of giving Foreigners the Right to Vote.--Bitter Feeling between Democrats and Whigs.--First Day of Election.--Ships "Constitution" and "Veto."--Whigs driven from the Polls.--Excitement.-- Whigs determined to defend themselves.--Meeting called.--Resolutions.-- Second Day's Election.--Attack on the Frigate "Constitution."--A Bloody Fight.--Mayor and Officers wounded.--Mob triumphant.--Excitement of the Whigs.--The Streets blocked by fifteen thousand enraged Whigs.--Military called out.--Occupy Arsenal and City Hall all Night.--Result of the Election.--Excitement of the Whigs.--Mass-meeting in Castle Garden.

CHAPTER VI.

ABOLITION RIOTS OF 1834 AND 1835.

The Slavery Question agitated.--The End, Civil War.--The Results.--William Lloyd Garrison.--Feeling of the People on the Subject.--First Attempt to call a Meeting of the Abolitionists in New York.--Meeting in Chatham Street Chapel.--A Fight.--Mob take Possession of Bowery Theatre.--Sacking of Lewis Tappan's House.--Fight between Mob and Police.--Mobbing of Dr. Cox's Church, in Laight Street.--His House broken into.--Street Barricaded.--Attack on Arthur Tappan's Store.--Second Attack on Church in Laight Street.--Church sacked in Spring Street.--Arrival of the Military. --Barricades carried.--Mr. Ludlow's House entered.--Mob at Five Points.-- Destruction of Houses.--The City Military called out.--Mob overawed, and Peace restored.--Five Points Riot.--Stone-cutters' Riot.

CHAPTER VII.

FLOUR RIOT OF 1837.


The Great Riots of New York 1712 to 1873 - 1/40

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