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Manual Horatio Seymour, New Yorks Governor, Attacks Abe Lincolns War

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Horatio Seymour (1810-1886)

In one notorious example, a mob of several thousand people, some armed with clubs and bats, stormed the Colored Orphan Asylum on Fifth Avenue near 42nd Street, a four-story building housing more than children. In addition to blacks themselves, rioters turned their rage against white abolitionists and women who were married to black men. White dockworkers, long opposed to the black men working on the docks alongside them a demonstration against employers hiring black workers on the docks had turned violent earlier in took the opportunity to destroy many of the businesses near the docks that catered to black workers, and attack their owners, as part of their effort to erase the black working class from the city.


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By far the worst violence was reserved for African-American men, a number of whom were lynched or beaten to death with shocking brutality. In all, the published death toll of the New York City draft riots was people, though estimates of the actual number of people killed reached as high as 1, New York leaders struggled with the task of containing the draft riots: Governor Horatio Seymour was a Peace Democrat, who had openly opposed the draft law and appeared sympathetic to the riot.

City Under Siege: The New York Draft Riots

On July 15, the third day of the protests, rioting spread to Brooklyn and Staten Island. The following day, the first of more than 4, federal troops arrived, from New York regiments who had been fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg. After clashing with rioters in what is now the Murray Hill neighborhood, the troops were finally able to restore order, and by midnight of July 16 the New York City draft riots had come to an end.

When the Colored Orphan Asylum attempted to rebuild on the same site after the riots, neighboring property owners protested, and the orphanage would eventually be relocated to the sparsely settled area north of the city that would later become Harlem. Stunned by the riots, the abolitionist movement in New York City revived itself slowly, and in March , less than a year after the draft riots, New York City saw its first all-black volunteer regiment in the Union Army march with pomp and circumstance through the streets before boarding their ship in the Hudson River.

William B. Leslie M.

But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! The Constitution, in authorizing Congress "to raise and support armies," provides only for the standing armies of the country, and not for the volunteer and temporary forces which any emergency may demand, because the 14th sub-division of the 8th section of article I, authorities [sic] congress "to provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.

And, therefore, as this conscription law does not make the force it creates a militia force of the States, nor is it part of the standing armies of the United States, it is clearly not authorized by the Constitution. The standing army of the country could be increased by an act of Congress, and the subdivision referred to authorizes Congress to provide the means for raising it; but Congress having neglected to do this; the only force the President is authorized to use, exclusive of the regular army and navy, is the militia and volunteer forces contributed by the several States when called upon.


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The Judge deeply regretted that the people had not had patience and patriotism enough, under the operation of the Conscription law, to wait until the Courts had fully determined this question. That the Courts were able and equal to the duty of sustaining the rights of the citizens, and it was through the Courts alone that their rights and safety in the end was fully and properly protected.

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Following the Draft Riots, the federal government set up an investigation but took no other action. John U. On February 26, , the New York Times reported that a federal grand jury had returned an indictment against John Andrews on charges of treason, conspiracy to levy war against the United States, inciting setting on foot and engaging in a rebellion and insurrection against the United States and resisting, and counseling and aiding resistance to the draft. Andrews was tried before Justice Samuel Nelson on May 24, , convicted, and sentenced to three years hard labor.

Horatio Seymour, New York's Governor, Attacks Abe Lincoln's War

He was the only rioter charged in the federal courts. In all, 67 of the indicted rioters were convicted, but few were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment.

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The forgotten man who almost became President after Lincoln

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