Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis, left, whispers advice to six-year-old Andy Davidson while entertainer Bill Robinson, Bojangles, whispers to Eshmael Aruz, also six, before the youngsters began their Paperweight bout at the Colored Orphan Asylum in New York City, Feb.
The Association for the Benefit of Colored Orphans, known commonly as the Colored Orphan Asylum, was the first orphanage in the United States dedicated to the care African-American children. By 1883, over three hundred children were located in the orphanage and it still remained the only agency dedicated to the care of African-American children. An excerpt from In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863, by Leslie M. In September of 1862, President Abraham Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, which would take effect January 1, 1863, and free slaves in those states or regions still in rebellion against the Union. The enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863 capped two years of increasing support for emancipation in New York City. In the month preceding the July 1863 lottery, in a pattern similar to the 1834 anti-abolition riots, antiwar newspaper editors published inflammatory attacks on the draft law aimed at inciting the white working class. In the midst of war-time economic distress, they believed that their political leverage and economic status was rapidly declining as blacks appeared to be gaining power. The rioters’ targets initially included only military and governmental buildings, symbols of the unfairness of the draft.
Demonstrators downed telegraph poles, uprooted train tracks, and fashioned clubs from fence rails. At Newspaper Row, across from City Hall, Henry Raymond, owner and editor of The New York Times, averted the rioters with Gatling guns, one of which he manned. Rioters attacked a black fruit vendor and a nine-year-old boy at the corner of Broadway and Chambers Street before moving to the Colored Orphan Asylum on Fifth Avenue between Forty-Third and Forty-Fourth Streets. 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. 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 in vain.
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.
The Irish man who castigated the mob for not helping the black children was not the only white person punished by rioters for seeming overly sympathetic to blacks. Black men and black women were attacked, but the rioters singled out the men for special violence.
With these actions white workers enacted their desires to eradicate the working-class black male presence from the city. Ironically, the most well known center of black and interracial social life, the Five Points, was relatively quiet during the riots. Those blacks who remained in the city found a somewhat chastened elite eager to help New York’s black residents recover in the aftermath of the riots. But the event could not completely erase the racial concerns that had been part of the draft riots, if indeed its organizers sought to. As the Union Army marched south, it brought with it black and white abolitionists (many affiliated with the American Missionary Assocition, others independent of organized efforts) who sought to reform southern blacks during and after the war.
Map of Manhattan Island:  the cluster of attacks on property in the southwestern portion of the island is close to the Stevens House, where Joseph F.
Thursday is generally regarded as the last day of the riots.  Clearly, the riots had affected Joseph F.
So though the riots were over, I think it safe to say that they would continue to have an impact on Joseph F.
It looks like the weather was pretty much the same 150 years ago today, except in 2013 the thundershower is going to hold off until the weekend.
Reading this third installment, I kept wondering how JFS was personally affected by witnessing such scenes. 4 At the turn of the century, the orphanage relocated to a larger facility in the Riverdale neighborhood of The Bronx. If any southern state returned to the Union between September and January, whites in that state theoretically would not lose ownership of their slaves. Although Republicans attempted to keep abolitionists from taking a leading role in New York’s antislavery politics during the early years of the war, by 1862 abolitionist speakers drew huge audiences, black and white, in the city. The anti-draft zealots then went on an arson spree, targeting homes of draft supporters, well-known Republicans, and the wealthy on Fifth Avenue, looting as they went. The mob, instead, attacked the headquarters of abolitionist Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune until forced to flee by the Brooklyn Police. By the spring of 1863, the managers had built a home large enough to house over two hundred children. 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. Throughout the week of riots, mobs harassed and sometimes killed blacks and their supporters and destroyed their property.

The seven-month-old Union League Club (which had as one of its main tenets black uplift) and the Committee of Merchants for the Relief of Colored People spearheaded relief efforts to blacks, providing forty thousand dollars to almost twenty-five hundred riot victims and finding new jobs and homes for blacks. These largely middle-class activists carried ideas of racial uplift first promulgated in the northeast, from creating manual labor schools to moral reform to enhancing wage labor.
Needless to say the orphans were a soft target, and although bravely defended, their removable was inevitable, the ruffians winning the day.
Smith’s experiences during the New York Draft Riots of July 1863.  See the first two parts here and here. As near as I can tell, he only wrote the one letter to his brother John Smith, and I have not been able to locate that. Louis and Robinson are honored guests at an Achievement Day program sponsored by the asylum.
Despite its limits, free blacks, slaves, and abolitionists across the country hailed it as one of the most important actions on behalf of freedom in the nation’s history. Increasing support for the abolitionists and for emancipation led to anxiety among New York’s white proslavery supporters of the Democratic Party, particularly the Irish. But by afternoon of the first day, some of the rioters had turned to attacks on black people, and on things symbolic of black political, economic, and social power.
Irish Catholic rioters targeted Protestant charities, such as the Magdalene Asylum and Five Points Mission. Financially stable and well-stocked with food, clothing, and other provisions, the four-story orphanage at its location on Fifth Avenue and Forty-Second Street was an imposing symbol of white charity toward blacks and black upward mobility. Rioters burned the home of Abby Hopper Gibbons, prison reformer and daughter of abolitionist Isaac Hopper. White dock workers also beat and nearly drowned Charles Jackson, and they beat Jeremiah Robinson to death and threw his body in the river.
The riots gave all these workers license to physically remove blacks not only from worksites, but also from neighborhoods and leisure spaces. Just under a year later, Republican elites and New York City blacks publicly celebrated their renewed alliance. They encountered newly free blacks eager for educational and economic betterment, but just as certainly shaping their own definitions of independence and equality.
Originally located on Twelfth Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, all the children received medical care and were taught to read and write. In 1942, New York City passed an Anti-discrimination law that stated all agencies receiving city funds should not discriminate against individuals based upon race. The Emancipation Proclamation brought formal recognition that the war was being fought, at least in part, on behalf of black freedom and equality. A company of volunteer firemen, angry over losing their traditional exemption from conscription, demolished and burned the draft office. By the late afternoon, protesters had entered the city’s arsenal, which they burned (killing ten of their own) when the police arrived.
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. 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. 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. The rioters’ actions also indicate the degree to which the sensational journalists and reformers of the 1840s and 1850s had achieved their goals of convincing whites, and particularly the Irish, that interracial socializing and marriage were evil and degrading practices.
When a mob threatened black drugstore owner Philip White in his store at the corner of Gold and Frankfurt Street, his Irish neighbors drove the mob away, for he had often extended them credit. After the riots, when the Colored Orphan Asylum attempted to rebuild on the site of its old building, neighboring property owners asked them to leave. In December of 1863, the secretary of war gave the Union League Club permission to raise a black regiment.
But such simple symbolism obscured the complex divisions of status, class, outlook and aspiration that had been part of New York’s free black community from its inception. During the Civil War and Reconstruction years, black and white people from urban and rural areas in the north and south were challenged to create new opportunities for the freed people. Weighter, Moor Gillit, and Wood Sailed for Liverpool to day on board the “City of Washington.”  I sent letters by them to Bros. The indenture of the children usually ended at the age of twelve where they worked for individual families or pursued other trades. As a result, the orphanage began to accept white children and changed their name to the Riverdale Children’s Association. The expanding mob forced an army squadron of 32 soldiers to retreat, and beat Police Superintendent John Kennedy to a bloody mess.
Decker could not be taken except over their bodies, he would have been dispatched on the spot.

Near the docks, tensions that had been brewing since the mid-1850s between white longshoremen and black workers boiled over. A group of white men and boys mortally attacked black sailor William Williams—jumping on his chest, plunging a knife into him, smashing his body with stones—while a crowd of men, women, and children watched. And when rioters invaded Hart’s Alley and became trapped at its dead end, the black and white residents of the alley together leaned out of their windows and poured hot starch on them, driving them from the neighborhood.
The orphanage relocated to 51st Street for four years before moving into a new residence at 143rd Street between Amsterdam and Broadway, in the midst of what would become New York’s predominantly black neighborhood in the twentieth century, Harlem.
The Union League Club decided to march the regiment of over one thousand black men through the streets of New York to the Hudson River, where the ship that would take them south waited.
But New York City had never unified to overcome the problems of racism and fully embrace black freedom; neither would the nation. 2 Due to the rapid growth of the orphanage, a new building was built on Fifth Avenue between 43rd Street and 44th Street.
After World War II, the board decided to end institutional care and focused on placing children in foster care. Again he succeeded, with the aid of half a dozen of his men, in defeating the incendiaries. 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.
As recently as March of 1863, white employers had hired blacks as longshoremen, with whom Irish men refused to work. The act of rioting may itself have released guilt and shame over former interracial pleasures. But such incidents were few compared to the widespread hatred of blacks expressed during and after the riots.
All male citizens between twenty and thirty-five and all unmarried men between thirty-five and forty-five years of age were subject to military duty. The mob became highly exasperated at his conduct, and threatened to take his life if he repeated the act.
Three or four persons were horribly bruised by the falling walls, but the names we could not ascertain. An Irish mob then attacked two hundred blacks who were working on the docks, while other rioters went into the streets in search of “all the negro porters, cartmen and laborers . A crowd gathered and hanged Franklin from a lamppost as they cheered for Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president.
Finally, and most simply, white workers asserted their superiority over blacks through the riots. In a powerful display, the parade publicly linked blacks with the leaders of the new order being ushered in by the Civil War.
However, few of the children were injured due to reports prior to the destruction of the orphanage that the building was a target for the rioters. 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. After the mob pulled Franklin’s body from the lamppost, a sixteen-year-old Irish man, Patrick Butler, dragged the body through the streets by its genitals. Albro Lyons, keeper of the Colored Sailors’ Home, was able to protect the boardinghouse on the first day of the riots, but soon fled to the neighborhood police station to seek an escort from the city for his wife and family. 3 The orphanage was temporarily housed at Alms House on Blackwell Island till a new building was constructed at Amsterdam Avenue and 143rd Street. Those who could afford to hire a substitute or pay the government three hundred dollars might avoid enlistment. An officer accompanied the Lyons family to the Sailors’ Home, where they gathered up what belongings they could carry before boarding the Roosevelt Street ferry, which took them to Williamsburg in Brooklyn. But in July 1863, white longshoremen took advantage of the chaos of the Draft Riots to attempt to remove all evidence of a black and interracial social life from area near the docks. After James Costello shot at and fled from a white attacker, six white men beat, stomped, kicked, and stoned him before hanging him from a lamppost. By 1865, the black population had plummeted to just under ten thousand, its lowest since 1820. White dockworkers attacked and destroyed brothels, dance halls, boarding houses, and tenements that catered to blacks; mobs stripped the clothing off the white owners of these businesses.

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