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RIOTS IN NEW YORK.
WE devote a considerable portion
of our space this week to illustrations of the disgraceful and infamous Riot
which took place in this city last week. On
page 493 will be found a picture of
BURNING OF THE COLORED ORPHAN ASYLUM,
by which exploit the rioters, on
Monday 13th, inaugurated their sway. This outrage is thus described in the
The Orphan Asylum for Colored
Children was visited by the mob about four o'clock. This Institution is situated
on Fifth Avenue, and the building, with the grounds and gardens adjoining,
extended from Forty-third to Forty-fourth Street. Hundreds, and perhaps
thousands of the rioters, the majority of whom were women and children, entered
the premises, and in the most excited and violent manner they ransacked and
plundered the building from cellar to garret. The building was located in the
most pleasant and healthy portion of the city. It was purely a charitable
institution. In it there are on an average 600 or 800 homeless colored orphans.
The building was a large four-story one, with two wings of three stories each.
When it became evident that the
crowd designed to destroy it, a flag of truce appeared on the walk opposite, and
the principals of the establishment made an appeal to the excited populace, but
Here it was that Chief-Engineer
Decker showed himself one of the bravest among the brave. After the entire
building had been ransacked, and every article deemed worth carrying away had
been taken—and this included even the little garments for the orphans, which
were contributed by the benevolent ladies of this city—the premises were fired
on the first floor. Mr. Decker did all he could to prevent the flames from being
kindled, but when he was overpowered by superior numbers, with his own hands he
scattered the brands, and effectually extinguished the flames. A second attempt
was made, and this time in three different parts of the house. Again he
succeeded, with the aid of half a dozen of his men, in defeating the
incendiaries. The mob became highly exasperated at his conduct, and threatened
to take his life if he repeated the act. On the front steps of the building he
stood up amidst an infuriated and half-drunken mob of two thousand, and begged
of them to do nothing so disgraceful to humanity as to burn a benevolent
institution, which had for its object nothing but good. He said it would be a
lasting disgrace to them and to the city of New York.
These remarks seemed to have no
good effect upon them, and meantime the premises were again fired—this time in
all parts of the house. Mr. Decker, with his few brave men, again extinguished
the flames. This last act brought down upon him the vengeance of all who were
bent on the destruction of the asylum, and but for the fact that some firemen
surrounded him, and boldly said that Mr. Decker could not be taken except over
their bodies, he would have been dispatched on the spot. The institution was
destined to be burned, and after an hour and a half of labor on the part of the
mob it was in flames in all parts. Three or four persons were horribly bruised
by the falling walls, but the names we could not ascertain. There is now
scarcely one brick left upon another of the Orphan Asylum.
Another reporter of the Times
During the burning of the Colored
Orphan Asylum a young Irishman, named Paddy M'Caffrey, with four stage-drivers
of the Forty-second Street line and the members of Engine Company No. 18,
rescued some twenty of the orphan children who were surrounded by the mob, and
in defiance of the threats of the rioters, escorted them to the Thirty-fifth
Precinct Station-house. It hardly seems credible, yet it is nevertheless true,
that there were dozens of men, or rather fiends, among the crowd who gathered
around the poor children and cried out, "Murder the d—d monkeys," "Wring the
necks of the d—d Lincolnites," etc. Had it not been for the courageous conduct
of the parties mentioned, there is little doubt that many, and perhaps all of
those helpless children, would have been murdered in cold blood.
page 484 we illustrate the
CHARGE OF THE POLICE UPON THE RIOTERS
who were engaged in sacking the
Tribune office. We take pleasure in publishing the following graphic account of
this affair from an officer who took part in it, and can personally testify to
To the Editor of Harper's Weekly;
SIR,—As a variety of conflicting
statements have been published in the daily papers purporting to be descriptions
of the dispersion of the rioters engaged in sacking the Tribune office, a brief
statement of the actual facts of that truly brilliant affair, from a
participant, may possibly be not unacceptable.
At seven o'clock on Monday
evening the members of the 26th Precinct then present, 38 men all told, were
assembled in their Squad-room, southeast corner City Hall basement. With them,
at the same time and place—and constituting with the 26th a special reserve at
that important point—were the reserves of the 1st Precinct, under Captain Warlow;
the bulk of Captain Bryan's force (4th Precinct) having being previously ordered
to police head-quarters, 300 Mulberry Street; that gallant officer was also
present as a volunteer. A report, whether designedly or not, that a riot was
progressing in the 1st Precinct, started first Warlow and his command, and
immediately after the 26th, under Captain Thorne; on down Broadway to Beaver, or
thereabout, and as through to Broad Street, when we found that the disturbance,
a slight one, had been suppressed. After a brief delay we resumed our march up
Broad and Nassau. Passing the Evening Post, a cheer greeted us from the
building. On reaching about the corner of Beekman and Nassau a halt was quietly
ordered. It was now dark, or nearly so, and through the deepening gloaming we
could see the 1st Precinct men halted on the west side of Nassau, just south of
the Times Buildings. They had rapped, and that was the reason of our halt. A few
hurried words of consultation between Captains Thorne and Warlow, and we were
again in place and ready. We could now distinctly hear the crashing of wood and
glass; the work of riot and devastation had commenced, but with the earnestness
and thoroughness which has marked the conduct of this outbreak from the start,
there was no shouting or profane clamor. It was a storming party under competent
and effective leadership. So earnest were they in their work—so absorbed, in
fact, that the low, stern order, "Keep together, men; steady; now, then,
Forward! Charge!" from Captain Thorne, was unheard save by a few spectators on
the Times corner. With a shout from a hundred throats, the 26th leading the
onset, we struck them like a thunderbolt, cleaving and scattering them in utter
rout, ruin, and dismay. A few of us entered the office. They had only got as far
as the ground-floor, and the few fool-hardy rebels who were found were
mercilessly clubbed into the street or into insensibility, and hurriedly dragged
off by friends to die in unknown homes, or linger, with maimed and shattered
heads and limbs, for months and years of pain and disfigurement. The square—a
minute previous crowded by a surging mass five thousand strong—was in five
minutes cleared to a point below French's Hotel, save where the dead and wounded
were being hurriedly dragged off by terrified friends. We did not try to take
prisoners till after the first rally, except that Officer Freeman, of the 26th,
finding a man, who gave his name as Burt Francis, in the act of ripping up the
counter in the office, brought him in, and he was duly committed next morning.
Only two more arrests were made.
Victorious, but breathless, we
had just succeeded in extinguishing the flames, which had by this time broke
out, when a shout as from a great crowd was heard, and a mass of men were seen
charging across the Park toward us from the direction of Broadway. The word was
given "Stand firm!" and every man squared himself for what now seemed about to
be a death-struggle with an overwhelming reinforcement of the mob. It was a
supreme moment; but our suspense was immediately at an end. Soon the bright
buttons and uplifted batons of our own gallant fellows from Broadway were
recognized, the grizzled locks and martial figure of the Metropolitan war-
horse, brave Dan Carpenter,
conspicuous at their head. One loud, ringing cheer went up, while trusty batons
waved, of triumph and relief. Victory was with the right. Law and order had
The importance of our coup can
hardly be overestimated. The suddenness and vigor of the blow took the snap
right out of the murdering thieves at the start, and effectually demoralized
whatever of organization they had in the lower part of the city. The Tribune,
Times, and Post would inevitably have gone as a consequence even of their
partial success; and speculation stops aghast when reflecting on the possible
havoc and destruction of the massed and hoarded wealth collected below Canal
The officers in command were
Captain Thorne, 26th (City Hall) Precinct, and Captain Warlow, 1st Precinct,
accompanied by Captain Bryan, 4th Precinct, as an amateur volunteer. Let their
names and those of their gallant officers and men be held in grateful
One of our special artists, who
was detailed to sketch the progress of the riot, thus describes the sketches he
furnished, which are reproduced on pages
MASSACRE OF A NEGRO IN CLARKSON
One of the first victims to the
insane fury of the rioters was a negro cartman residing in Carmine Street. A mob
of men and boys seized this unfortunate man on Monday evening, and having beaten
him until he was in a state of insensibility, dragged him to Clarkson Street,
and hung him from a branch of one of the trees that shade the sidewalk by St.
John's Cemetery. The fiends did not stop here, however. Procuring long sticks,
they tied rags and straw to the ends of them, and with these torches they danced
round their victim, setting fire to his clothes, and burning him almost to a
cinder. The remains of the wretched negro hung there till near daylight on
Tuesday morning, when they were removed by the police. This atrocious murder was
perpetrated within ten feet of consecrated ground, where the white head-stones
of the cemetery are seen gleaming through the wooden railing.
THE MURDER OF COLONEL O'BRIEN.
As I arrived at the corner of
Thirty-fourth Street and Second Avenue, the rioters were dragging the body of a
man along the sidewalk with a rope. It was difficult to obtain any information
from the by-standers, who were terror-struck by the savage fury of the mob. I
ascertained, however, that the body was that of Colonel O'Brien of the Eleventh
New York. There was not a policeman or soldier within view of whom inquiry could
be made. "What did they kill him for?" I asked a man leaning against a
lamp-post. "Bedad I suppose it was to square accounts," replied he. "There was a
woman and child kilt there below a while ago by the sojers, and in coorse a
sojer had to suffer." The brutal roughs who surrounded the body fired pistols at
it occasionally, and pelted it with brickbats and paving-stones. The tenacity of
life of this unfortunate victim is said to have been remarkable, and those who
entered the yard where the body lay some hours later state that breathing was
even then perceptible.
SACKING OF A DRUG-STORE.
Sated with blood, the rioters now
turned their attention to plunder. A drug-store close by where Colonel O'Brien
lay was completely riddled by them, the doors and windows being smashed in with
clubs and stones. Women hovered upon the skirts of the crowd, and received the
articles as they were thrown or handed from the store. One fellow rushed out
with a closely-packed valise, which he opened in the street. The clothes and
other things contained in it were eagerly seized and contended for by boys and
women standing around. There were a number of letters in it, and some documents
with seals, which were probably of value to the owner; but these were savagely
torn and trampled under foot by the disappointed plunderers. A woman sat upon
the steps near by, and read out portions of one of the letters amidst the jeers
of her ribald companions. Another passed me waving in triumph a large parchment
manuscript of many pages.
ATTACK UPON THE CLOTHING-STORE OF
From the first of the riot
clothing appeared to be a great desideratum among the roughs composing the mob.
On Monday evening a large number of marauders paid a visit to the extensive
clothing-store of Messrs. Brooks Brothers, at the corner of Catharine and Cherry
streets. Here they helped themselves to such articles as they wanted, after
which they might be seen dispersing in all directions, laden with their
THE GERMAN TAILORS.
Away up in the Avenues the German
tailors were sad sufferers, in consequence of the demand for confiscable
apparel. I saw an able-bodied ruffian emerging from a tailor's shop with the
breast of his shirt crammed full of pieces of dry-goods of all colors. His arms
and shoulders were laden with clothing. He had a new soft hat stuck upon the top
of his greasy cap, while in one hand he carried a "nest" of hats of assorted
sizes, and a bunch of gorgeous, many-colored ties fluttered from his arm as he
ran. "Why did they riddle that shop?" I asked of a woman who was standing by.
"Sure the owner is a Jarman," was the reply. Here an Irishman of the
non-combative type chimed in, saying, "No, it wasn't that at all; it's becase
the boys wanted the clothes. But it's a shame to stale them, any how, and no
good ever come of the likes." "Begorra that's thrue for you, Frank Tully,"
remarked his companion; and thereupon they both expressed themselves greatly in
favor of virtue, and opposed to the scenes of violence passing around us. On
returning down the Avenue, a quarter of an hour later, I recognized the virtuous
Frank Tully and his friend, in an alley-way, busily engaged in trying on some
new trowsers, which did not look as if they had been just bought and paid for.
A GORILLA AT LARGE.
During the entire withdrawal of
the police and military from large districts of the city many highway robberies
must have been perpetrated. Coming down Third Avenue, I passed a group of young
rowdies who were amusing themselves with snapping
their pistols. One threw his
revolver high into the air, and caught it by the barrel as it came down,
bragging at the same time that it was both loaded and cocked. A few steps
further on I found myself face to face with a fearful-looking desperado, who
came suddenly upon me round a corner.
"Hello me buck!" cried he; "don't
be in a hurry, now. Hand over your cane; and fork out all you've got."
Fortunately he was somewhat
drunk, and he grasped in his right hand a bundle of "green-backs," which seemed
to embarrass him a little. As he still pressed upon me, however, I turned to the
young pistoliers, saying,
"Boys, here's a fellow wants to
draft me; are we going to stand that?"
This created a diversion in my
favor; and when I saw that the attention of the young rowdies was attracted to
the money in the desperado's hand I improved the opportunity and proceeded up a
by-street, at an accelerated pace. Had I struck him with my stick, which was my
first impulse, I should most assuredly have fallen a victim to the blind fury of
the young pistoliers. Probably the right owner of the "greenbacks" fared much
worse than I did, independent of the loss of his money.
THE DEAD SERGEANT.
On Thursday there was a great
deal of fighting going on between the military and the rioters, in the
neighborhood of Twentieth Street and First Avenue. Passing through Twenty-second
Street, I saw a dead sergeant lying on the sidewalk. From his uniform I judged
that he belonged to the Fourteenth New York Cavalry. He was killed by a bullet
fired from one of the houses in the vicinity, and then barbarously beaten and
mangled by the mob. As he lay there, with a cloth thrown by some decent person
over his face, to hide his ghastly wounds, ill-looking women came now and then
to look at him, jesting over the unconscious remains, and pointing them out to
their infant children with fiendish glee. The little boys amused themselves by
lifting up his hands, and then letting them fall to the ground with heavy
"thud." Others performed savage dances around the body, jumping round it, and
over it, and even upon it. Dropping shots were coming from the windows and roofs
of houses not far distant, so that I did not prolong my stay in that part of the
city. It was any thing but safe ground. As I was crossing a street not far below
where the dead sergeant lay I heard the word "Fire!" and on turning round saw
that a platoon of soldiers were firing down the street right in the direction of
where I stood. I believe they were aiming high, to reach the windows of some
distant houses, which accounts for my escape.
page 484 we illustrate one of
the severest fights which took place between the mob and the troops on 16th
FIGHT IN SECOND AVENUE.
This is faithfully described in
the Times as follows:
At five o'clock last evening
intelligence was sent to Police Head-quarters that the mob, between First and
Second avenues, in the neighborhood of Twenty-ninth Street, had renewed their
operations in great force, and that they were robbing and plundering all the
stores in that vicinity.
A military force was speedily
sent to the spot; but when they arrived there they found the rioters were too
strong for them, and after contesting the field for half an hour they were
ordered to withdraw. A sergeant who had command of a portion of the military
force was shot, and afterward most brutally beaten to death. His body lay in the
street for three hours. The military and police were powerless to suppress the
mob, from the fact that almost every house between First and Second avenues, in
the vicinity of Twenty-second and Twenty-third streets, was filled by assassins,
and from all the windows and house-tops shots, stones, and brickbats were thrown
with great rapidity. Fifteen members of the Fifth Company, Seventh Regiment, are
reported killed by stones and brick-bats.
The military force were compelled
to withdraw until reinforced. At about nine o'clock Captain Putnam of the United
States Army, aided by Lieutenant Chase and Sergeant Greenman, with a force of
Regulars of about 700 men, repaired to the scene. They drove the rioters from
their hiding-places, took the body of the Sergeant away, and soon after the
scene of disturbance was transferred to Thirty-first Street and Second Avenue.
Here the battle was terrible. The
insurgents had gained the windows and housetops of nearly all the buildings in
that vicinity. For a time they held control of the neighborhood. Muskets and
pistols were fired by the mob upon the military and citizens in the streets.
Quite a number were injured, and two quiet and unoffending citizens are known to
have been killed by the rioters. Captain Putnam, in charge of the military, when
all hope of stopping the proceedings in any other way was gone, ordered his men
to sweep the streets and then turn their fire on the houses occupied by the
rioters. The order was promptly obeyed, and eleven persons, all of whom were
ringleaders among the rioters, were shot dead. The stones and brick-bats then
flew thicker and faster among the soldiers.
The order was given to turn their
fire upon the buildings. A volley was fired, and the returning echo brought
shots from guns and pistols discharged from all parts of the adjoining houses.
All kinds of missiles were thrown, and many soldiers were seriously injured
thereby. An order then came to take all rioters in and upon the buildings. The
promptness with which this was obeyed did great credit to the soldiers.
The tenement houses, which were
filled with rioters, were taken by storm. The resistance, of course, was
desperate, and the mob fought against the military for half an hour with a fury
and desperation worthy of a better cause. At the end of that time the mob were
overpowered and dispersed. Thirty-five of them were taken prisoners, and at
least half as many more were killed while resisting the officers.
Officers Putnam, Chase, and
Greenman acted with the greatest coolness and decision throughout the whole
affair, and to them, and the brave soldiers under them, the credit is due of
suppressing one of the most serious and vindictive mobs which have prowled
through our city for the last four days.
The rioters at twelve o'clock
last night were in a quiet state. The prisoners taken were conveyed to Police
Head-quarters, and the dead and wounded were properly cared for by the soldiers
The triumph of the authorities
over the lawless mob in Second Avenue last night was most decisive and complete.
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