Mar 21, 2013 - Sale 2308

Sale 2308 - Lot 403

Price Realized: $ 2,640
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
RARE FIRST HAND ACCOUNTS (MILITARY--CIVIL WAR--DRAFT RIOTS.) COUTANT & BAKER. The Bloody Week! Riot, Murder & Arson, a Full Account of this Wholesale Outrage on Life and Property. . . By Eye Witnesses. Wrappers with engraved portraits of Andrews the Leader and Rosa, Andrews Eleventh Street Mistress. 32 pages. 8vo, original; pictorial orange wrappers; some wear to the bottom edge of the front wrapper; housed in a cloth chemise. New York: Coutant & Baker, [1863]

Additional Details

a compilation of eye-witness reports of the worst civil disorder in American history published a day after the riot was quelled. When Abraham Lincoln called for more troops by means of a draft, the people most deeply affected were the working class, and particularly the Irish immigrant workers who, like many New Yorkers sympathized with the South. Those who were well off could avoid service by paying their way out. The first drawing held on July 11, 1863 saw some muttering, but was peaceful. However, the second drawing held on July 13, ten days after the Union victory at Gettysburg was not. At 10 a.m., a furious crowd of around 500, led by the Black Joke Engine Company 33, attacked the assistant Ninth District Provost Marshal's Office, where the draft was taking place. The crowd threw large paving stones through windows, then burst through the doors and set the building on fire. When the fire department responded, rioters destroyed their vehicles; others killed the horses pulling streetcars and smashed the cars. Blacks were sought out, and hundreds were beaten and hung from trees and lamp-posts. To prevent a call for help, the telegraph lines were cut. Things got much worse. Finally militia and artillery companies were called in. The most reliable estimates indicate that at least 2,000 people were injured. Herbert Asbury, the author of the 1928 book Gangs of New York, upon which the 2002 film was based, puts the figure much higher, at 2,000 killed and 8,000 wounded. Total property damage was about $15 million--about $75 million today. The historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that the riots were "equivalent to a Confederate victory". Fifty buildings, including two Protestant churches and the Colored Orphan Asylum, were burned to the ground.