to solitude and seclusion, interfered with the execution of the programme.
But now, inflamed by the appeals of their favorite journals, the commencement of drafting in our several districts was marked by the gathering — especially in the up-town districts, where there is a compact population of laborers, mainly of foreign birth — of excited crowds, who soon proceeded to violence, arson, and bloodshed.
In the IXth Congress
district, comprising the most northerly wards of the City
, largely peopled by railroad employes and other foreign-born laborers, the drawing commenced at 10 A. M., in the house where the enrollment had been made, at the corner of Third Avenue and 46th-street, in the presence of some 300 persons, mainly spectators.
Half an hour thereafter, when 75 to 100 names had been drawn, while all was quiet and orderly within the building, a pistol was fired in the street, where a large crowd had rapidly assembled; whereupon, a shower of brickbats and other missiles was hurled at the house, and the crowd rushed in, driving out the officers and clerks, tearing up the papers, and taking complete possession.
In a few minutes, one of the rioters produced a can of spirits of turpentine, which he poured over the floor and set fire to it, and the building was soon in flames — the policemen and draft officers who attempted resistance being driven off by showers of stones--Mr. John A. Kennedy
of Police, who was present in plain clothes, being recognized and severely beaten.
A small force of the Invalid Corps
soon appeared, but was promptly overpowered and driven off by the mob, now swelled to furious thousands; and a strong detachment of the police, which attempted to disperse or drive the mob, was likewise worsted and forced to retreat.
The firemen, who were tardy in their appearance, and who were cheered and applauded by the mob, made no effort to save the obnoxious house in which the fire had been kindled, but finally arrested the progress of the conflagration; though not till several more houses had been destroyed, and the bulk of the mob had moved off to other scenes of outrage and devastation.
The organized militia of the city were generally absent in the interior of Pennsylvania
; the Government
had no military force within call but a handful on Governor
's island and in the forts commanding the seaward approaches; while the Police, though well organized and efficient, was not competent to deal with a virtual insurrection which had the great body of the foreign-born laborers of our city at its back, with nearly every one of the 10,000 grog-shops for its block-houses and recruiting-stations.
The outbreak had manifestly been premeditated and prearranged; and the tidings of its initial success, being instantly diffused throughout the city, incited an outpouring into the streets of all who dreaded the Draft, hated the War
, or detested Abolitionists and Negroes as the culpable causes of both.
The rioters constantly augmented their numbers by calling at the gas-houses, railroad offices, workshops, and great manufactories, and there demanding that all work should be stopped and the laborers allowed to fall into their ranks — a demand which, through sympathy or cowardice, was too generally acceded to. Of