Draft Riots 1863

Before the terrible Draft Riots of 1863, there had already been a strong group (known as 'Copperheads') within the New York Democratic Party who argued for a negotiated settlement to the Civil War. The new conscription provisions of 1863 provoked furious protest from working men in the city, especially because the rich could, and did, buy their way out of conscription. In 'The Draft' chapter of New York, Edward Rutherfurd draws a vivid picture of the riots, the part taken by the fire companies, and the way that the protest tragically, and insanely, turned into a horrifying race riot.




 

 

 

Did You Know?
As those who have read PARIS will know, the Parisian neighborhood of Les Halles, now known for its vast mall complex, was once the site of the Cimetière des Innocents, Paris’ largest cemetery. What started in the 12th century as a smallish graveyard ballooned to a resting place for over 2 million corpses ! By the 1780’s, the cemetery had become so overfilled and unhygienic that Louis XVI closed it, and ordered all bodies be exhumed and transferred to the Catacombs. Today, only one relic remains from the neighborhood’s eerie past - La Fontaine des Innocents – a fountain built in the sixteenth century which once marked the entrance to the graveyard.




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