Collection: Great Riots of New York

Stonecutters’ Riot of 1833

The contractors for the building of the New York University found that they could purchase dressed stone at Sing Sing, the work of the prisoners there, much cheaper than in New York, and so concluded to use it. This, the stonecutters of the city said, was taking the bread out of their mouths, and if allowed to go on would destroy their business. They held excited meetings on the subject, and finally got up a procession and paraded the streets with placards asserting their rights and denouncing the contractors. They even attacked the houses of some of the citizens, and

Bread Riot of 1857

In the autumn, there came a financial crisis, that was so wide spread and disastrous that the lower classes suffered for want of food. Banks suspended specie payment, manufactures were forced to stop work, and paralysis fell on the whole industry of the nation. It was estimated that ten thousand persons were thrown out of employment. These soon used up their earnings, and destitution and suffering of course followed. Their condition grew worse as cold weather came on, and many actually died of starvation. At length they became goaded to desperation, and determined to help themselves to food. Gaunt men

Dead Rabbits’ Riot of 1857

The origin of the term “Dead Rabbits,” which became so well known this year from being identified with a serious riot, is not certainly known. It is said that an organization known as the “Roach Guards,” called after a liquor dealer by that name, became split into two factions, and in one of their stormy meetings some one threw a dead rabbit into the room, and one party suddenly proposed to assume the name. These two factions became bitterly hostile to each other; and on the day before the 4th of July came in collision, but finally separated without doing

Telegraph Bureau

Telegraph Bureau. Its Work. Skill and Daring and Success of its Force. Interesting Incidents. Hairbreadth Escapes. Detective Force. Its arduous Labors. Its Disguises. Shrewdness, Tact, and Courage. Narrow Escapes. Hawley, the Chief Clerk. His exhausting Labors.

Third Day of Draft Riots

Scenes in the City and at Head-quarters. Fight in Eighth Avenue. Cannon sweep the Streets. Narrow Escape of Captain Howell and Colonel Mott. Battle for Jackson’s Foundry. Howitzers clear the Street. State of Things shown by Telegraph Despatches. General Sandford sends out a Force against a Mob, at Corner of Twenty-ninth Street and Seventh Avenue. Colonel Gardin’s Fight with the Mob. Is Wounded. Mob Victorious. Dead and Wounded Soldiers left in the Street. Captain Putnam sent to bring them away. Disperses the Mob. Terrific Night. Tuesday had been a day of constant success to the police and military, and many

Black Riots of 1712-1741

Probably no event of comparatively modern times certainly none in our history has occurred so extraordinary in some of its phases, as the Negro riot of 1741. We cannot fully appreciate it, not merely because of the incompleteness of some of its details, nor from the lapse of time, but because of our inability to place ourselves in the position or state of mind of the inhabitants of New York City at that period. We can no more throw ourselves into the social condition, and feel the influences of that time, than we can conceive the outward physical appearance of

The Stamp-Act Riot of 1765

At the present day, when personal ambition takes the place of patriotism, and love of principle gives way to love of party; when the success of the latter is placed above constitutional obligations and popular rights, one seems, as he turns back to our early history, to be transported to another age of the world, and another race of beings. Nothing shows how thoroughly understood by the common people were the principles of liberty, and with what keen penetration they saw through all shams and specious reasoning, than the decided, nay, fierce, stand they took against the stamp act. This

Riots In Every Part of the City

It is impossible to give a detailed account of what transpired in every part of the city. If there had been a single band of rioters, no matter how large, a force of military and police, properly armed, could have been concentrated to have dispersed it. But bodies of men, larger or smaller, bent on violence and devastation, were everywhere; even out at Harlem eight buildings were burned, and the lower end of Westchester was in a state of agitation and alarm. A mob of thousands would be scattered, only to come together at other points. A body of police