"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lincoln knew how to put down a riot

New York Draft Riots  -  Federal troops battle the mob as it burns the city down and murders people.

The UK could take a few lessons on riot control from Abraham Lincoln

Currently London is burning.  Violent mobs are roaming the streets.  The Brits are considering getting out water cannon.  Water cannon!  What a bunch a pussys.

I am very Libertarian, but I am also a huge Law and Order person.  It is times like this you bring out the Army and do whatever is needed to restore order.  And I do mean whatever is needed.

Here is looking back at the New York Draft Riots in 1863.

With a large and powerful Democratic Party operating in the city, a dramatic show of dissent had been long in the making. The state's popular governor, Democrat Horatio Seymour, openly despised Lincoln and his policies. In addition, the Enrollment Act shocked a population already tired of the two-year-old war.

By the time the names of the first draftees were drawn in New York City on July 11, reports about the carnage of Gettysburg had been published in city papers. Lincoln's call for 300,000 more young men to fight a seemingly endless war frightened even those who supported the Union cause. Moreover, the Enrollment Act contained several exemptions, including the payment of a "commutation fee" that allowed wealthier and more influential citizens to buy their way out of service.

Perhaps no group was more resentful of these inequities than the Irish immigrants populating the slums of northeastern cities. Poor and more than a little prejudiced against blacks-with whom they were both unfamiliar and forced to compete for the lowest-paying jobs-the Irish in New York objected to fighting on their behalf.
Rioters subjected black men to the most brutal violence:
torture, hanging, and burning. 
© Collection of the New-York Historical Society

On Sunday, July 12, the names of the draftees drawn the day before by the Provost Marshall were published in newspapers. Within hours, groups of irate citizens, many of them Irish immigrants, banded together across the city. Eventually numbering some 50,000 people, the mob terrorized neighborhoods on the East Side of New York for three days looting scores of stores. Blacks were the targets of most attacks on citizens; several lynchings and beatings occurred. In addition, a black church and orphanage were burned to the ground.

Throughout the week of riots, mobs harassed and sometimes killed blacks and their supporters and destroyed their property. Rioters burned the home of Abby Hopper Gibbons, prison reformer and daughter of abolitionist Isaac Hopper. They also attacked white "amalgamationists," such as Ann Derrickson and Ann Martin, two women who were married to black men; and Mary Burke, a white prostitute who catered to black men.

White longshoremen took advantage of the chaos of the Draft Riots to attempt to remove all evidence of a black and interracial social life from area near the docks. White dockworkers attacked and destroyed brothels, dance halls, boarding houses, and tenements that catered to blacks; mobs stripped the clothing off the white owners of these businesses.

Black men and black women were attacked, but the rioters singled out the men for special violence. On the waterfront, they hanged William Jones and then burned his body. White dock workers also beat and nearly drowned Charles Jackson, and they beat Jeremiah Robinson to death and threw his body in the river. Rioters also made a sport of mutilating the black men's bodies, sometimes sexually. A group of white men and boys mortally attacked black sailor William Williams—jumping on his chest, plunging a knife into him, smashing his body with stones—while a crowd of men, women, and children watched. None intervened, and when the mob was done with Williams, they cheered, pledging "vengeance on every nigger in New York."

New York Draft Riot map.

White laborer, George Glass, rousted black coachman Abraham Franklin from his apartment and dragged him through the streets. A crowd gathered and hanged Franklin from a lamppost as they cheered for Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president. After the mob pulled Franklin's body from the lamppost, a sixteen-year-old Irish man, Patrick Butler, dragged the body through the streets by its genitals. Black men who tried to defend themselves fared no better. The crowds were pitiless. After James Costello shot at and fled from a white attacker, six white men beat, stomped, kicked, and stoned him before hanging him from a lamppost.

Lincoln deployed combat troops from the Federal Army of the Potomac to restore order.  General John E. Wool brought approximately 800 troops in from forts in the New York Harbor and from West Point. 

New York State militia and some federal troops returned to New York, including the:
  • 152nd New York Volunteers
  • 26th Michigan Volunteers
  • 30th Indiana Volunteers 
  • 7th Regiment New York State Militia from Frederick, Maryland, after a forced march. 
  • 74th and 65th regiments of the New York state militia
  • 20th Independent Battery, New York Volunteer Artillery from Fort Schuyler in Throgs Neck.

The New York State militia units were the first to arrive. By July 16, there were several thousand Federal troops in the city

Federal troops remained encamped around the city for several weeks.

Draft Riots  -  Irish Democrats attacking white and black Republicans.

Report of Col. James B. Fry. Provost-Marshal-General, U. S. Army, with orders, &c.
JULY 13-16, 1863.--Draft Riots in New York City, Troy, and Boston


Washington, D.C., July 14, 1863.
Secretary of War.

        SIR: The enforcement of the draft was yesterday seriously resisted in the ninth district of the city of New York. The mob, variously estimated in numbers up as high as 30,000, attacked the officers of this bureau in the performance of their duty, and destroyed the building in which the draft had been conducted, and many of the rolls, records, and appurtenances connected with the draft. The military and the police force of the city on duty there were overwhelmed and dispersed.

        In the present condition of things, I do not think the draft can be made without additional force. I therefore recommend that four regiments of infantry and a battery of artillery be sent immediately to New York City, and, without intending to travel beyond the line of my duty, I would state that I think the public interest, so far as my department is concerned, would be greatly promoted if Major General McDowell can be assigned to such command as will enable him to direct the military operations necessary to enforce the draft in the State of New York and New England. 'The numbers and importance in this riot are doubtless greatly exaggerated, but I deem it sufficiently serious to justify the suggestions herein made.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Provost-Marshal- General.

Federal troops restore order the proper way in the movie The Gangs of New York.

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