Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New York Draft Riot Looting of the Colored Orphan Asylum

Draft Riots 1863 - Colored Orphan Asylum looting
Looting of the Colored Orphan Asylum during the draft riots, on July 13-16, 1863 (source: The New York Illustrated News. August 1, 1863.)

Founded in 1859, the New York Illustrated News lasted only until 1864. But during that time it chronicled some of the most significant events of the era, from John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry and subsequent trial to the draft riots. This engraving depicts a crowd of rioters carrying furniture and toys from the burning Colored Orphan Asylum on Fifth Avenue and 45th Street during the afternoon of Monday, July 13, 1863. While portraying the rioters with harshly caricatured, animal-like features, the illustration also suggests that rioters looted items that were far beyond the meager means of poor New Yorkers. (source:

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