New York Draft Riots


an HMS American Cultures collaborative production

The New York Draft riots, also known as Draft Week, lasted from July 13, 1863 to July 16, 1863. The Congress had recently passed a law that stated all male citizens between twenty and thirty-five, and all unmarried men between thirty-five and forty-five years of age were almost forced to fight in the Civil War. All of the men that were eligible were entered into a lottery. Many newspapers were outraged by this and they criticized the government for the law. The morning of July 13, 1863 at about 6 A.M., the riots started. In the original plan, the rioters were only targeting military and government buildings. But, near the end of the first day some people started to attack black people. The rioters attacked a newly built colored orphanage and they set the building on fire. The mob did not harm any of the children from the orphanage.new_york_draft_riots_2.jpg Throughout the week, the rioters attacked thousands of black people and any white person that had to do with any black people. They attacked all of these people because they were still angry about the draft. They beat every black person that came in their line of vision. In the one week of the riots, the rioters hanged eleven black men and forced hundreds of black people out of the city. The rioters really didn't have a reason to attack the people because the black people didn't have anything to do with the draft. One of the consequenses of the riots were that the tension between blacks and whites did not loosen until the Civil Rights Movement.
new_york_draft_riots.jpg.


Online Sources: Harris, Leslie M. "The New York City Draft Riots of 1863." In The Shadow of Slavery. 21 May
2009 <http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/317749.html>.
"New York Draft Riots." Wikipedia. 21 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Draft_Riots>.

Image Sources: "An Illustration of a Building Fire on Lexington Avenue during the Riots." Public Domain on Wikipedia. 25 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NYRiot.JPG>.
"Rioters and Federal Troops Clash." Public Domain on Wikipedia. 25 May 2009 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_York_Draft_Riots_-_fighting.jpg>.