In July 1863, at the height of the Civil War, and within days of the conclusion of the Battle of Gettysburg, the streets of Manhattan suddenly erupted in violence.
The poorer classes of the city, mainly Irish immigrants, resented the institution of a draft to conscript soldiers for duty in the Civil War.
The riots turned into pitched battles in some spots in the city, with mobs battling New York Police and even federal troops. By the time it was over, buildings had been burned and hundreds of people had been wounded or killed.
The nation, which had been following news of Civil War battles for two years, was stunned to be reading about mobs battling police and soldiers in the streets of America's biggest city. This gallery of vintage images, most of them from magazines of the day, provide a taste of how the news was relayed across the country.
For permission to use many of these images, gratitude is extended to the New York Public Library Digital Collections.
- Graphic Index
- Text Index