Quotes from and about the draft riots

"Remember this—that the bloody and treasonable doctrine of public necessity can be proclaimed by a mob as well as by a government." New York Governor Horatio Seymour (1) Seymour is asking President Lincoln to end the drafting in New York

"Conscription is a necessity; the conscription is a law; the conscription is just. It is the justest mode of raising an army—just to the people of every class and condition, poor and rich, lack and white. No class of citizens is exempt form its operation-even poor clergymen, if drafted, being compelled to shoulder their musket." The New York Times, July 15, 1863 (6)

"I can not consent to suspend the draft in New York as you request, because, among other reasons, time is too important…" President Abraham Lincoln, August 7, 1863(6) Lincoln's response to the plea of Governor Seymour to end the drafting in New York

"It was the largest civil insurrection in American History other than the South’s rebellion." Eric Foner, professor of History at Columbia University(2)

"New York was tipping toward anarchy. There was a real question weather it was possible to maintain order in a humane way." Ric Burns, historical film maker. (2)

 Before the Riots

During the Riots

Numbers from the Riots

Ending the Riots and its aftermath


This page created by Chris Willoughby

Last updated 3-26-00