On June 11, 1863 the first names were drawn.(1) A blindfolded federal official picked names from a wheel placed in a public place.(3) People began to become disgruntled and on July 13, it all came down. That morning Irishmen and the poor people of New York came into the streets with signs reading "NO DRAFT". They closed down the docks where most of the men worked and the first major urban riot in American history was underway.(6)

The men gathered in Central Park where they heard speeches opposing the draft. They left there for the draft office.(6) The office was burned. This was just the beginning of the voilence that would take place over the next few days. With many rioters feeling they didn't want to be drafted because they didn't want to fight for blacks, they took it out on blacks in the city. They marched to The Colored Orphan Asylum and burned it.(2) A black coachman was dragged from his home, hung and a fire set beneath him to burn his flesh.(1)

There was total confusion trough out the town for the three days. Police were able to do little against the mob until the Union Army came in from Pennsylvania. They had to shoot many of the rioters and along with the rain were able to clear the streets of New York.

 Back to leading up to the riots

See statistics and numbers

How the drafts ended and when they resumed

What people have to say about the riots


This page was created by Chris Willoughby.

Last updated 3-25-00