Jocelyn VaseyJanuary 11, 2018AMS: Mr. Stordeur 9-3New York Draft Riots of 1863 The New York Draft Riots of 1863 interested me the most because although I had prior knowledge of the Civil War from my old school, the draft riots in New York were a new conjuncture for me. I had thought that the draft riots were about a group of protesters who protested against the draft and the conscription that had got a little out of control, but the draft riots were more of an insurrection with numerous individuals dead, especially blacks. The draft riots were brutal and what was truly shocking was that approximately 106 of the 120 reported deaths were African American. 83% of the reported deaths were African Americans! More than half the deaths were from the African Americans alone! African Americans were targeted because the Irish immigrants feared for the racial competition of the workforce. There was a passage on the Blackpast website that interested me the most and it said, “When the draft came to New York City in July 1863, anti-government anger turned to anti-government and anti-black violence. The anti-black violence was driven by the resentment that the Irish would have to complete with freedpeople for jobs in the city now that the Union had embraced emancipation.” The draft riots were originally to just protest the draft and the conscription law that Congress imposed, but the draft riots turned into an angry mob of Irish immigrants who were frightened that their jobs may be stripped from them by the recently freed blacks. The New York Draft Riots were during the Civil War and the point of the war was to abolish slavery and keep the Union intact. However, the Confederate states wanted to keep slavery and by leaving the Union and creating their own country the South could permit slavery. Another passage on the Blackpast website had mentioned that the mayor of New York at the time, Mayor Fernando Wood, “called for the city to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy but the response from most New Yorkers was unenthusiastic.” I would’ve never thought New York would leave the Union, New York City used to be the capital of the United States.