American Legal History

By, Ben Marcu

Abraham Florentine Jr. was just three blocks from his house when he turned right off of Walker Street to head south on Bowery. Despite it being the early hours of Independence Day, 1857, the Bowery was cold and mostly deserted, save for a small group of men and boys loitering across from the grand Bowery Theater. Florentine did not mind the quiet; by trade he was an undertaker, so he was used to working long hours with just his own private musings to keep him company. A loaner and a native New Yorker, the thirty year-old lived and worked in the most notorious contemporary immigrant slum on the planet: Five Points. [i] In fact, of the nearly thousand residents who lived on the block surrounding his house at 59½ Mulberry Street, Florentine was the only white, adult native. [ii]

At this moment, he was in the company of his partner, John Lord. It was Florentine’s first day as a policeman, and the experienced Lord was sticking close to his rookie cohort in order to both educate him in the dangers of the Sixth Ward and protect him against them. [iii] Lord, who had been working the Five Points beat for nearly three years before teaming up with Florentine, was more familiar than most with the incendiary nature of the neighborhood, and when the loitering ruffians suddenly ambushed the policemen Lord was quick to take cover. Florentine, however, was not so quick, and in a flash the charging crowd was onto him; they tackled him onto the muddy thoroughfare and, in the struggle, managed to separate him from his nightstick. Luckily, just as the assailants were poised to inflict a measure of real damage, Florentine wriggled free and raced after his partner into a saloon at 40 Bowery. [iv]

According to newspaper reports and contemporary texts, the saloon at No. 40 Bowery served as the headquarters for local, hotheaded politician Pat Matthews and his “Bowery Boys” gang, as well as Matthews’ political enemy-cum-ally James E. Kerrigan. Just a year earlier, Matthews and his Bowery Boys had feuded viciously with Kerrigan and his so-called “Molly Maguire Boys” at a polling station in the Points, but following the appointment of fruit salesman and mutual political enemy, Martin Gilmartin of 496 Pearl Street, to the City Council, the two had reconciled in order to consolidate political control in Five Points. [v]

In the first hours of 4 July, the drinking den was mostly empty and bartender William Jarvis was probably eager to make the six-block walk northeast to his apartment at 54 Allen Street. [vi] The mob outside, having gathered momentum, members, and makeshift materiel closed in menacingly on the saloon—all the while cursing the Republicans and the Metropolitan Police loudly enough to wake the residents of the surrounding tenements. Fearing further hostility from the mob, the two policemen ducked out the back door onto Elizabeth Street and headed west, in the direction of the Metropolitan Police Headquarters at 88 White Street. The mob, meanwhile, assaulted the façade of 40 Bowery with stones, bricks, and cobblestones. In doing so they wounded August Bartlett, a clerk residing at 115 Chrystie Street, who happened to be in the saloon when the flying debris breached the building’s glass storefront. The remaining patrons, trapped inside the saloon, fired tumblers, glasses, and furniture back at their aggressors, successfully repelling them onto the Bowery. [vii]

By 1:45am, when Metropolitan Policeman William H. Smith, of 10 Whitehall Street, rounded the corner from Bayard Street onto the Bowery, the riotous pack had grown to seventy-five strong. [viii] As soon as they noticed Smith’s presence, they were hot on his heels. He swerved up Bowery, away from his pursuers and took cover in a bakery at 36 Bowery called “McCloskey’s Coffee and Cake Saloon.” The owner of the bakery, Henry McCloskey? , who also lived on the premises, locked the doors in order to keep the mob on the street and then waited anxiously to see how they would respond. Just as they had at No. 40, the rioters began to stone the façade of 36 Bowery. When all the windowpanes had been shattered it became apparent that the gang was going to try to enter the building, so the occupants returned fire with “anything [they] could seize upon.” Projectiles flew back and forth for ten minutes before a gang of Matthews’ Bowery Boys arrived to fend off the assault, but by then the damage had been done and the stage had been set. [ix] The holiday weekend that followed would prove to be one of the most violent in the City’s history, leaving at least twelve dead, and scores more seriously injured.

By the weekend of July 4th, Five Points had been at the tipping point for nearly three months. In Albany, on April 15th and 16 th, Republican Governor John A. King had pushed two major bills through the majority Republican and Know-Nothing State legislature that imposed serious checks on the powers of the Mayor of New York City, anti-Tammany Democrat, Fernando Wood. [x] If everything was to work out as the Governor hoped, the first law would serve to enforce the second, and simultaneously alienate Mayor Wood from his overwhelmingly Irish-immigrant voter-base ahead of the 1858 mayoral election. [xi]

With the Liquor Excise Law, the State legislature hoped to reinforce temperance movements in the City by further regulating the sale of intoxicating liquors. It sought to achieve this by outlawing the sale of spirits on Sundays and raising the cost of the average liquor license from $15 per year, the rate set by the State legislature in 1841, to between $30 and $40 per year—an average increase of 133%. [xii] The Metropolitan Police Act would serve both as protection for the Excise Law and as a distinctly political measure—the Act called for an entirely new police force. It dictated that the City’s Municipal Police Force, which had become the mayor’s puppet and showpiece, would have to disband in favor of a Metropolitan Police Force that would exist across New York, Brooklyn, Richmond, and Westchester counties and be regulated by a five-man commission appointed by the State legislature. [xiii]

To Five Pointers, these two laws posed four major threats to the unalienable rights that they associated with their arrival in America: first, the laws would limit their political voice by severely weakening an elected official whom they helped elect; second, the laws would leave a largely Irish police force unemployed; third, the laws would effectively priced the several hundred groceries and saloons in the Points out of the market, as they would not be able to afford to pay the increased fees liquor license fees; and finally, the law would threatened the very independence of those who used Sundays as an opportunity to drink and make merry with friends and family.

Mayor Wood, on behalf of the People of New York, immediately challenged the Metropolitan Police Act by filing a writ of quo warranto in New York State Supreme Court, claiming that the Act was unconstitutional and filing an injunction against the newly appointed police commissioners. [xiv] When the court denied the injunction on procedural grounds and subsequently found the Act constitutional on May 25th, Wood appealed. The central issue was whether the Act went beyond state constitutional authority by establishing new civil divisions of the state and by partially divesting local constituencies of the franchise by appointing local office-holders and police officers.[xv] While the appeal was pending, Mayor Wood reinstated his Municipal Police, which caused a great deal of confusion in the City’s stationhouses. Eventually, on June 2nd, policemen were “called upon to vote on the question as to which side they would serve (the Municipal or the Metropolitan), the old or the new. Only about 300 of the 1,100 voted at roll-call to support and respect the authority of the State board.” [xvi] In the Sixth Ward, this meant that the majority Municipal Police could remain at the 9 Franklin Street Stationhouse, while the minority Metropolitan Police would be forced to rent space for their headquarters at 88 White Street. Thus, during the summer months, there were two full service police forces operating in the City, and as they squabbled over arrests and attempted to release any criminals captured by the other, the crime rates in the City’s most disreputable districts rose sharply. [xvii]

This Republican patronage grab was not surprising against the national political backdrop of 1857. Since Millard Fillmore had left office in 1853, the Whig party had been tearing itself apart from north to south over the question of slavery in the western territories. [xviii] With the nativist Know-Nothing and American Republican parties still influential, but clearly no longer threats to the Democrats on the national stage, the relatively new Republican party began looking to expand its party base by unifying anti-Democrat votes under a general, anti-slavery message. With the support of the Know Nothings, northern Whigs, and free-soil Democrats, Republicans, in the summer of 1857, thought they could challenge recently elected President Buchanan in the 1861 election. To get the Know Nothings on board, Republicans lawmakers in fiercely Republican areas enacted pro-nativist legislation, such as anti-immigrant voting laws and property restrictions on Catholic churches. While this tradeoff nearly cost venerable Republican Salmon P. Chase, the Ohio gubernatorial election of 1857, it guaranteed Know Nothing support for anti-nativist Republican William H. Seward in New York.[xix] Seward, in turn, helped elect Republican Governor King, who used the Excise Law and Metropolitan Police Act to pander to his nativist supporters and weaken the New York Democrats.

On July 2nd, the Court of Appeals of New York affirmed the decision of the New York State Supreme Court that the Metropolitan Police Act was constitutional by a decision of six to two, thereby forcing Mayor Wood to finally disband his Metropolitans. [xx] However, because the police force lost eight hundred men in one day with the dissolution of the Municipals, the Metropolitan Police were severely understaffed. In order to cope with the rigors of policing the City, the Metropolitans swore in several hundred “special” policemen the following day, many of whom had no formal training in police work whatsoever. In fact, the intent was to keep most of the “specials,” like Abraham Florentine Jr., on the force just until the end of the holiday weekend to help deal with an expected uptick in crime. While the commissioners of the new police force had been offered the opportunity to hire all of the laid-off Municipal officers to fill the gaps, they chose instead to risk the safety of a city, already balanced on a razor’s edge, on a power play of partisanship.

After a relatively calm morning and early afternoon on the 4th, at 5:00pm Metropolitan brass at the 88 White Street headquarters received word that an Irish crowd was combing the Seventh Ward for policemen to victimize. Concerned for the wellbeing of their Seventh Ward colleagues, thirty special police officers plotted the most direct route east, to the neighboring Seventh Ward. That route took the officers east on White to Baxter, where they turned south momentarily before heading east on Bayard and crossing Mulberry, Mott, and Elizabeth on their way to aid their potentially beleaguered cohorts. Just before reaching Bowery, the detachment encountered a throng of locals crowded around two men who were apparently engaged in a physical altercation. [xxi] According to a report in the Tribune, just as the brawl was beginning to reach a natural conclusion, “the cry was heard, ‘The Metropolitans are coming!’” [xxii]

At this point, the undertrained and disorganized Metropolitans likely scattered—some will have sought to disrupt the fight (possibly arresting the fighters in the process), disperse the crowd, and restore peace, while others will have searched for a detour around the mostly Irish horde, and others still will have held their ground. Regardless, the officers must have looked something of an army to the Sixth Ward crowd, processing down Bayard Street thirty strong. While some of the women and children ran for shelter in the surrounding tenements, many of the men, whether driven by their outrage at the Metropolitan Police Law and the Excise Law or simply startled into self-defense, remained on the street, ready to fight the Metropolitans. Many of those who retreated into the tenements lining Bayard launched pots, pans, bricks and anything else not bolted down or excessively valuable out their windows and onto the special police in the street below.

While the houses on Bayard near Mulberry were almost exclusively Irish tenements, those east of Mulberry and west of the Bowery were less Irish dominated. In fact, it was a popular area for German immigrants to settle: Augustus F. Dohrmann, a grocer, lived at 76 Bayard; Theodore Colt, a butcher, and Charles Kiefer, a boot salesman resided at 75; 73 was occupied by William Hilmer, a machinist, and Maria A. Cotter, a dressmaker; and the brick tenement at 70 was home to Claus Bade, a grocer, and John Lombard, a hatter.[xxiii]

As such, it is likely that the aerial bombardment from the houses lining Bayard was denser closer to the Irish stronghold on Mulberry, which would have forced the Metropolitans east, toward the Bowery and the home of the Bowery Boys, whose headquarters had been ransacked the night before by an angry mob of Five Pointers. Having scattered to flee the raining projectiles, the Metropolitans were separated and severely outnumbered. Just then, at around 5:30pm, salvation came storming west from the Bowery in the form of two hundred Bowery Boys. [xxiv] The Five Pointers, enraged that their neighbors would rush to the aid of the Republican, Know-Nothing-supported Metropolitans turned their aggression towards the Bowery Boys, allowing the Metropolitans to scramble east towards their original Seventh Ward destination. [xxv] During their escape, the special police arrested two men, whom they deposited at the nearby “Tombs” prison.[xxvi]

At about 5:35pm, the riot proper began. With thousands looking on, and occasionally participating from the windows of their tenements, the hundred-plus person mob from Mulberry Street began to force their rivals back towards the Bowery with the two sides engaging in hand-to-hand combat. Just when it appeared that the riot would quickly be decided, fate favored the Bowery Boys. Upon being pushed back almost all the way to Elizabeth Street, the Bowery Boys sought shelter amongst the rubble of an active construction. The site was full of loose bricks that the Boys used as makeshift projectiles. The flying bricks, which travelled like urban cannonballs, stopped the advancing mob in its tracks. [xxvii] One projectile struck Metropolitan Police Officer William Jenkins in the side of the head as he fled past John Bindernagel’s grocery at 79 Bayard. [xxviii]

The Bowery Boys maintained their position in their makeshift arsenal near Mott Street as the opposing mob retreated to the corner of Bayard and Mulberry where they were receiving vocal support from the residents of 70 Mulberry, including porter Patrick Gallagher, barber John Hefner, and laborer James Walsh, as well as aerial support from Patrick Ganley, a pawnbroker who was on the roof of his building at No. 80 Bayard. [xxix]

At approximately 6:15pm, a squad of between thirty and forty Metropolitan Police officers – again mostly newly appointed special police – arrived on scene, approaching the Mulberry Street faction from the west. According to the Tribune, upon realizing that their men were being sandwiched into a fight on two fronts, nearby residents saw to it that the Metropolitans “were showered [with stones and bricks] from…housetops and windows, by the hundreds . . . many of which struck the officers, causing severe injuries.”[xxx] At first, the police attempted the orderly arrest of several members of the throng of Five Pointers, but those efforts quickly devolved into aimless truncheon swinging and bludgeoning. Shortly thereafter, gunfire commenced, although the exact origin of the shooting is unclear. [xxxi]

The officers, perhaps afraid of being shot or perhaps in pursuit of ‘tenement bombers’ rammed down front doors and entered nearby buildings, in some cases exiting with riot conspirators in hand. While most of the rioters were men and boys, women in the surrounding tenements were documented as having tried to pelt the Metropolitans with stones when they appeared on Bayard. According to the Times, “two women were captured…their laps filled with paving stones.” [xxxii]

Within five minutes of arriving at the riot, the Metropolitans were once again forced to retreat, grabbing several rioters on their way back to White Street. One Officer, James G. Finch, of 55 E. 31st Street, arrested Barney Gallagher, a thirty-five year-old tailor residing at 141 Reade Street, after wrestling him to the ground on the corner of Bayard and Mulberry for throwing a large stone into the Bowery Boy construction-site-cum-bunker. [xxxiii] Another, Special Henry N. Hitchcock of 46 First Street, was not as lucky; attempting to flee the fracas, Hitchcock, who had been appointed to the Metropolitans just one day earlier and had spent most of his adult life working as a shoemaker, was shot and killed by an unknown assailant. [xxxiv]

While brawls were not irregular occurrences at the Points, gunfire was. Most brawlers preferred bars, clubs, bottles, and bricks to revolvers, muskets, and rifles. However, the use of firearms during the “Dead Rabbits”-Bowery Boys Riot should not have come as too big a surprise to local authorities given the makeup of the rioters. While the sides were not as clearly divided into “Dead Rabbits” and “Bowery Boys” as contemporary newspapers suggested, there was no doubt that some grouping of Bowery Boys and Mulberry Street Boys were involved—the same two gangs that had combined, just months before to produce “the first Sixth Ward election skirmish in which firearms played a significant role.” [xxxv]

Hunkering down in their respective positions with virtually unlimited ammunition and overhead support, the two sides began to execute what must have looked remarkably like traditional wartime artillery volleys, with brickbats and steel pipes standing in for cannon rounds. The urban battlefield now covered nearly three city blocks, and the rival hordes, fearing the danger of flying bullets, began to fortify their positions: the rioters at the corner of Mulberry and Bayard hid in doorframes and behind piles of crates and boxes, while the Bowery Boys created a barricade in the middle of the street between Elizabeth and Mott by overturning fruit carts and carriages.[xxxvi]

During breaks in the action, rioters from the two sides chanced occasional forays into the no-man’s-land block of disputed territory between the two barricades. According to the Times, “occasionally, becoming wearied of this slow mode of warfare, one party or the other would leave their barricade and charge the other, pitching stones among their enemies and then retreating.” It would appear that the Bowery Boys had better luck with this tactic than their foes, as they managed to escape the battle with no casualties, as most of the men killed during the riot belonged to the Mulberry-based crowd. [xxxvii] In fact, the Bowery Boys’ success may have been due to a clever bit of planning; it was rumored that the Bowery Boys

“selected…a squad of boys to run to and fro with pistols, as fast as they should be discharged, in order that they might be reloaded by another party detailed at the headquarters, and then taken back to the 'Boys' engaged in the fight, and exchanged for the empty ones just fired. By this means the 'Boys' were kept well supplied with loaded pistols, without their opponents being able to ascertain the secret of their success.” [xxxviii]

Unfortunately, this approach appears to have worked to somewhat devastating effect. Among the dead were Joseph Carr, of 9½ Mulberry Street, and J.J. Bernard who were both shot “through the breast”. [xxxix] Bernard, who kept a barbershop on Whitehall Street, had been seen at an earlier moment during the riot breaking bricks off a nearby wall and hurling them at the Metropolitan Police.[xl] Thankfully, the total death was not greater than twelve; as the Times reported, the rioters fired mostly for effect and “with [little] deliberation,” as they etched pockmark after pockmark into the facades of the surrounding buildings. [xli]

By 7:00pm, the detachment of special policemen that had been sent out to disperse the riot had returned to 88 White Street, where they shared their stories with Police Commissioner Simeon Draper. Commissioner Draper, realizing that his force was powerless to abate the escalating riot on Bayard messaged the local militia for reinforcements:

“Major-Gen Sanford [sic.]—Sir: There have been several assaults upon our force. Our men are attacked in various quarters. Already fatal wounds, it is feared, have been inflicted. Our force, though strong, is driven by combinations of men, seeming to be under orders of experienced policemen, and others of desperate character, from point to point. You will therefore call for the requisite force to restore order, and assist the civil force in preventing further havoc among our citizens.” [xlii]

Sanford, the General of the New York National Guard First Division and a trained lawyer, responded by readying the 7th, 8th, and 71st Regiments, which would be led by Colonels Duryea, Lyons, and Vosburgh respectively if any action was to be taken. [xliii] While he chose not to send the regiments to the division armory on Franklin Street immediately, Sanford, despite living on W. 22nd Street in the Eighteenth Ward, knew just how volatile the Sixth could be, having worked for many years just south of the Points, at 5 Tryon Row. [xliv]

Ultimately, the National Guard would not see action in Five Points that night, as both sides had begun to grow weary by 8:00pm. Despite a nearly full moon, clouds limited visibility on Bayard Street, which rendered most of the two warring gangs’ daytime tactics ineffective. Sensing the rioters losing interest, a Metropolitan Policeman who claimed to be a deputy sheriff and several of his colleagues cautiously approached the two barricades to discuss with the gangs the possibility of a ceasefire. The weary crowds on both sides submitted to this suggestion, eager to eat dinner and get some rest. [xlv] By 8:30pm, with the fighting complete after three and a half hours, calm was restored to the streets as the rioters dispersed through the cool breeze of an irregularly bitter summer day.

Interestingly, the weather, an odd culprit, may have played a significant role in the longevity of the 4 July Riot. Members of both the Five Points mob and the Bowery Boys will have welcomed cooler-than-usual weather—it was, by all accounts one of the only sentiments the two parties shared—as it meant they could wear their cheap woolen garments in relative comfort. While the impending Panic of 1857 had not yet taken hold of Five Points industry, very few individuals living in the neighborhood could afford cooler clothing at a time when cotton prices were skyrocketing. [xlvi] As a result, what Five Pointers did during their leisure time was often dictated, at least in part, by the weather. In this case, it is quite possible that a hot and sticky Independence Day could have limited casualties by shortening the riot, or at least by sapping some of its fervor. [xlvii]

Rioting continued the following day, on July 5th, though the exact parties involved remain unclear. [xlviii] The fighting began at about 7:00pm with a dispute between two groups of Five Pointers inside of a grocery store; the store, following the enactment of the new Excise Law, was illegally selling liquor on a Sunday near the intersection of Little Water and Worth Streets. While the precise cause of the dispute is unclear, by 7:30pm the storefront had been destroyed, and one group, operating from within the store forced their adversaries out the door and all the way back west to Centre Street, with brickbats and bottles flying in their direction to hasten their retreat. [xlix]

The withdrawing Five Pointers, spurred on by a large crowd that was developing in “Paradise Square,” held fast near the northeast corner of Worth and Centre Streets. The advancing group pursued their adversaries one block to the west, but stopped in the shadow of the House of Industry, which was situated on the north side of Worth Street, adjacent to the Square. While each side waited for the other to make the next move, the crowd between the warring parties had grown to several thousand spectators. [l]

After about fifteen minutes of inaction, the two sides abruptly broke out into missile volleys, utilizing bricks, stones, and bottles. Since such objects were not as readily available to these rioters as they were to the previous day’s fighters, the two sides were forced to improvise. The Gang on the northeast corner of Worth and Centre entered the dwelling at 74 Centre Street, in which Louis Barkley and William E. Duing resided, climbed to the roof, dismantled the chimney, and lobbed the dislodged brickbats and stones at their opposition. [li] When that supply began to run low, they repeated the process next door, at the home of Patrick Gallagher in 76 Centre Street. [lii]

Then, at around 7:45pm, gunshots rang out in Paradise Square. While the shooting only lasted for fifteen minutes, several bystanders were struck and wounded, though none were killed. [liii] In the five-story brick tenement at 472 Pearl Street, the sound of gunshots likely sent residents, including marblecutter Dennis Burns, fishmonger Maurice Callaghan, and carpenter Patrick Henry, scrambling to protect their precious few valuable items. [liv]

Sometime just after 8:00pm, a squad of ten special policemen led by Sgt. Nathaniel Hicks arrived at the scene, but through the crowd of three or four thousand Hicks was unable to make out who belonged to which gang and who was simply caught in between. Fearing a repeat of the hostility directed against police the previous night, Hicks ordered his men back to White Street and asked Commissioner Draper to, once again, call on the National Guard for assistance. [lv] The 8th and 71st Regiments hurriedly assembled in front of the armory on Franklin street and made their way over to Metropolitan Police Headquarters, armed with a “Minie musket and twenty-four rounds of ball cartridge per man.” With bayonets fixed, between 9:00pm and 9:30pm the two National Guard regiments joined 150 Metropolitan Policemen in a street-by-street sweep of the Sixth Ward. [lvi]

Having received news that the National Guard was on its way, Rev. Louis Pease of the House of Industry and several other intermediaries helped to broker a deal between the two sides in order to avoid a potential gunfight. [lvii] By the time the Guardsmen and Metropolitans reached the location of the riot, there was little evidence that a recent disturbance had even taken place.

Interestingly, well-informed members of the 71st Regiment may have found some humor in the event; several weeks before, the 71 st had been dispatched to Newburgh to “participate in the celebration of the Battle of Bunker Hill”. Now, as they passed through the area called “Cow Bay” near the intersection of Centre and Worth Streets, they were actually on active duty on Bunker Hill itself (albeit a different Bunker Hill)—as the New York hill that shared a name with the now-famous Massachusetts landmark had been razed and used to fill the old Collect Pond on top of which the Five Points was built.

As some of the members of the regiment, perhaps, pondered their extraordinary circumstance the procession continued uneventfully, wending its way through Pearl, Baxter, Mulberry, Bayard, Elizabeth Streets, and the Bowery before returning to the Metropolitan headquarters on White Street at 11:00pm, restoring temporary peace to the Five Points, and putting an end to the weekend’s madness. [lviii]

The devastation resulting from the Independence Day Riots of 1857 was both shocking and unremarkable. Measured against other New York City riots of the era, the Independence Day Riots fail to crack the top three for property damage and death toll. In short, they were largely unremarkable for the time and their long-term success or influence is hard to measure. While the Independence Day Riots were put down swiftly and by overwhelming force, it could be argued that the rioters had longer-term success: in the autumn of 1857, the Democrats regained control of the state legislature, and Mayor Fernando Wood won reelection in 1860. However, action and result here cannot be viewed in a vacuum; there can be no one-to-one correlation of riot and political change in a political climate as fickle as New York’s in the 1850s. Perhaps, as Iver Bernstein argues, the rioters’ talisman, Mayor Wood, was only elected in the first place because the upper classes of New York were thoroughly uninterested in the petty squabbles of city politics.[lix] As such, the riots carry little historical value in terms of the city’s political development. However, the Independence Day Riots are, perhaps now more than ever, of great historical importance. The Riots can reveal a great deal about the nature of riots, why they happen, how they are defined, their social and political functions, how they are controlled, how they are viewed, and how they fit into the larger American story, both then and now. [lx]

Although riots fall into the “know-it-when-you-see-it” category, they seem to defy precise definition. This is largely because those with the power to label such events—first news media and the government, then minority voices contradicting initial reports, and finally historians—create such labels with their own biases based on contemporary conditions and the benefit of hindsight. For example, a violent action in a local neighborhood can be reported as a riot, then officially classified as an act of terror, only later to be recognized as a revolt or a rebellion. While biases and the passage of time may make riots difficult to categorize, they can be very broadly defined as disorganized and unofficial acts of resistance to authority. And although riots usually involve violence, that violence can be varied—from property damage to targeted violence against specific people to indiscriminate violence as a show of general defiance or communal frustration. They also tend not to lend themselves to bright-line distinctions between good and bad, black and white, progressive or reactionary. Most riots are highly nuanced and arise out of widespread frustrations aggravated by acutely local issues—often, the rioters do not all share the same goals and frustrations. As with the Independence Day Riots, even when the rioters motivations are in accord, their actions do not always line up within traditional moral classifications, with Bacon’s Rebellion serving as a prime example. While Bacon’s Rebellion is now venerated for its pro-American spirit, it could equally be defined as terroristic, piratical, anti-colonial, and anti-Indian.

And although riots may be similar to other forms of protest or actions of discontent, they are unique from other kinds of social action, because they are typically not formally coordinated and seldom offer public terms for their own assuagement. In fact, riots always fail in the short-term. Those that are immediately successful often receive titles with greater historical traction like rebellion, coup, revolt, or revolution. However, despite being put down in the short term, riots can succeed in creating longer-term political attrition or social change. Over centuries, rioters that exhibited the values of present-day society can, like the Sans Culottes or the Sons of Liberty, even be glorified for their actions. So, perhaps, as Keith Flett argues, the issue of nomenclature is largely trivial.[lxi] What is of far greater value than defining a social action as a riot, is placing that action in the history of other similar actions. Were the Independence Day Riots routine or aberrations? Are they necessarily un-American or are they distinctly within the fabric of the American way?

By the time of the Independence Day Riots of 1857, rioting in New York was nothing new. In fact, it had distinctly colonial roots. It could even be said that a minority group of disenfranchised immigrants rioting against the imposition of restrictive laws passed by undemocratic process was decidedly American and had been ever since New Yorkers rioted against Royal Governor Cadwallader Colden’s enforcement of the stamp tax in 1675. Regardless, there can be little doubt that anti-colonial rioting in the colonies paved the way for a tacit acceptance of violent forms of social action in the early years of independence. Conversely, the actions taken by America’s early leaders to quell riots were largely in keeping with the methods of their imperial predecessors. While Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists argued that it was the right of the people to rebel when the government deprived them of their natural rights, Hamilton’s warning to President Washington to put down the Whiskey Rebellion with a show of overwhelming force echoed King George’s own Proclamation Against Riots enforced in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Hamilton and Washington made it clear that general disorder would be met by riot-phobic, decisive government action.

While force was an effective tool for quashing public showings of discontent it also enflamed anti-establishment sentiment. In coming down harshly on rioters, America’s earliest leaders gave a sort of social power to those aggrieved enough to be willing to suffer the consequences of violent social action. Just as rioting in the colonies had often led to softening of imperial enforcement as well as social and political progress, after independence, local riots influenced national action. Prior to independence, tenant farmer riots had persuaded Royal Governors to stop acting as agents for royalist landlords. Similarly, at the turn of the 19 th century, the impact of actions like Shays’s Rebellion and the Whisky Rebellion undoubtedly played a role in weakening the early Federalists’ hold on national politics. By the late-1850s, the riot as an expression of the discontent of the disenfranchised had become a popular and effective mode social and quasi-political action in America. In New York, where politicians were corrupt, class lines were drawn on a grid in the form of city streets, unemployment and poverty were the norm, and progressivism tussled with landed interests in the richest and poorest districts, riots became part of the city’s identity. Within this environment, the Independence Day Riots occurred in a historical moment in which ethnic street violence could take on political meaning so long as it involved the defense of immigrant culture and political organization. [lxii] In a city in which immigrants outnumbered native-born people, votes could be bought and sold on the proverbial strength of a community’s physical strength.

At a time when the immigrant population of the Five Points was finally gaining a political foothold, the overnight disenfranchisement of those who had elected Mayor Wood coupled with the gerrymandering written into the Metropolitan Police Act that would further weaken their political voice was a very public blow to a community on the rise. Throughout history, it is in just this type of moment that riotous thoughts begin to stir—not when a community is at its nadir, but when its progress is halted or set back.

New York power brokers and politicians, it would seem, did not heed the warning of the Independence Day Riots. Just six years later, New York would endure the bloodiest and most destructive riot in its history: the Draft Riots of 1863. Back in 1857, with a financial crisis looming, there had been growing discontent within the city’s poorest districts regarding local housing laws, building codes, licensing requirements for greengrocers and brick-carters, and other local grievances. Up until the enactment of the Metropolitan Police Act, the Mayor had wielded enough power to attend to such local needs through policy or enforcement. But by 1863, the Mayor’s power had so diminished that his lack of control over finances, taxation, police, education, and health made the city unresponsive to the growing frustrations of its locals, natives and immigrants alike. [lxiii] With thousands of New Yorkers feeling silenced and disenfranchised, nearly one quarter of the city’s population Irish immigrants unable to afford to buy their way out of the draft, and emancipated slaves further threatening job prospects for laborers, the Draft Riots should have seemed to those in power conspicuously inevitable. [lxiv]

The lack of control over local institutions might explain the influence of local gangs in precipitating and escalating the Draft Riots, and the theory that has dominated and defined street gang research over the last half-century would seem to confirm as much. The human ecology paradigm states: “…gangs [are] manifest signs that communities are poorly organized—specifically, ‘socially disorganized’ beyond the capacities of their local institutions of control and integration.” [lxv] However, the human ecology paradigm fails to explain the significant contribution of gang activity in the Independence Day Riots just six years prior, in a community that was under intense mayoral scrutiny and control. Recent challenges to the human ecology paradigm seem to offer a more encompassing explanation; they posit that either a lack of internal organization or forced external organization (like significantly increased policing) in “ghettoized” areas can cause street gang proliferation. Against the backdrop of the Independence Day Riots, the new theories gain traction. The Five Points (and the rest of the Sixth Ward) was both over-policed and under-policed. In the summer of 1857, there were two police forces patrolling the streets; one force corrupted by the Mayor’s reliance on it for political muscle and the other limited by a lack of resources and non-existent local support—New York County District Attorney A. Oakey Hall, for one, refused to indict anyone the new Metropolitan force arrested. [lxvi] Crucially, the presence of gangs in both the Independence Day Riots and the Draft Riots belies the theory that but for the violence of gangs, the Draft Riots would have been far less bloody. In fact, gang activity was common in antebellum riots, and as Adrian Cook points out, “. . . antebellum incidents were localized and almost always limited to the pillaging of property.” [lxvii] By comparison, the draft rioters’ horrifying slaughter of black men suggested a far more extreme, citywide campaign to erase the post-emancipation presence of the black community. Such atrocity warrants further study—as do the Astor Place Riots of 1849 and the Orangemen Riots of 1871—each of which have benefitted from exhaustive scholarly coverage. But little has been made of the Independence Day Riots, and what has been written has largely misidentified their participants.

The Independence Day Riots are more commonly called the “Dead Rabbits Riot,” which, itself, is inaccurate. According to Five Points Historian Tyler Anbinder, “The name [Dead Rabbits] so captured the imagination of New Yorkers that the press continued to use it despite the abundant evidence that no such club or gang existed.” [lxviii] While other histories of the riots have labeled the rioters as members of the “Mulberry Street Boys” or the “Roche Guard,” the original newspaper reporting on which much of the current scholarship relies was, at best, inexact. [lxix] Contemporary newspaper reports labeled the people of the riots as “Kerryonians” (supporters of Kerry), “a number of five pointers and a gang of rowdies from some other locality”, “Centre Street Ruffians”, “Dead Rabbits” (or a dispute between two factions of “Dead Rabbits”), “Dead Rabbits [and another gang] who generally congregate in Centre, Pearl, and Elm Streets”, “denizens of Worth St., near Centre”, “the Pelters”, “the “Cow Bay Party”, the “Centre Street crowd”, and “The Bowery Boys.” This kind of reporting is symptomatic of reports of malfeasance through the years; the media and the government are all-too-eager to name the malefactors as something distinctly Other—a label George Rudé and other riot and protest historians have tried to dispel. Riots cannot simply be labeled as gang activity or written off as insubordination by a crowd in a “carnival mood,” or violence by “riffraff or canaille, or [perpetrated by] a mob, foreigners, lay-abouts, or inhabitants of the dangerous districts.” [lxx] The violence in the summer of 1857 illustrates this claim. While it is generally true that the Independence Day Riots included many foreigners in the “dangerous districts,” no such claim could be made about the Police Riot a month prior in which the Metropolitan Police attempted to arrest the Mayor and fought for hours on the steps of City Hall with the Municipal Police. With the Police Riots in mind, it becomes clear that riots can belong to any group and from any band of society. In fact, one of the most unique elements of the Independence Day Riots was who took part. Although violent social action is typically gendered male, women played an active role in the violence of the Independence Day Riots. Women disassembled brick chimneys to use the brickbats as weapons and hurled stones, plates, and furniture at police and the counter-rioters. Such unique action, however, is lost when the riot is viewed as a fight between the “Dead Rabbits” and the “Bowery Boys.” In fact, what the role of the women in the riots demonstrates is that, despite not being granted the right to vote in New York City elections until 1917, women and men alike in the Five Points felt politically stifled by the restrictive acts passed by the Legislature in the summer of 1857.

While reductive name-calling is common in contemporary reports about riot actions, it poses problems for historical analysis. Without properly identifying the rioters, their causes, discontents, and motivations, it becomes difficult to accurately assess a riot’s socio-political impact. Although some historians argue that riots are not a “legitimate” political activity that does minimize their potential political impact or obscure the political motivations underlying their violence. [lxxi] In fact, riots throughout history have almost always been politically motivated. It could even be argued that riot actions show belief in a political system, or at least that a given political system is imperfect but functioning. While other, similar violent actions like coups, rebellions, and revolutions, demonstrate that their actors believe that the political system is irreparably damaged and must be replaced, riots express discontent in current conditions, but, by their very nature, express an understanding that such conditions can change within the current political system. The Independence Day Riots illustrate this reasoning. The rioters did not march on Washington D.C. or even City Hall; they used violence locally to call attention to the fact that their political voice had been essentially muted overnight. The rioters did not fight the system, but rather they targeted those who they blamed for removing them from it. To be sure, while violence is not to be condoned, the very idea that disenfranchisement leads to a willingness to bleed suggests a deep belief in the political system and a desire by the rioters to exist within it. And while it may not be a “legitimate” political activity, rioting has long been, and continues to be, a catalyst for social and political change in America.

Although the socio-political impact of riots in molding American culture and identity neither rectifies nor remedies the damage caused by their violent nature, it offers an explanation as to why violent protest remains prevalent today—an explanation that hardly departs from Thomas Jefferson’s own view on riots. In the United States, riots have most often existed within three broad categories: (1) riots specifically targeting the forces of law and order; (2) riots involving racial conflict; and (3) riots in reaction to disenfranchisement. While the Independence Day Riots had elements of the both the first and third categories, the Draft Riots of 1863 meet the criteria for all three, as do the most recent riots in the collective American memory. This is disconcerting. If riots are truly tools of social change in American society, should people still be fighting for the same things after 160 years? Perhaps, the impact of rioting has been too narrowly defined. For each action in favor of social progress, violent or not, there has been a group counter-rioters seeking to stem the tide of social change—perhaps the most historicized example being the 1961 attack on the Freedom Riders in Montgomery. And while it is a start to recognize that “…for counter-rioters there is a sense of identification with . . . a system that has learned to involve them and give them dignity,” [lxxii] the question that must be asked is: why hasn’t the system changed to involve everyone?

Much has changed since 1857. No longer is a group of rioters able to overwhelm an entire police force. But the fact that rioting is still a relevant form of protest demonstrates that voices within the American body politic are being systematically muffled. However, despite the physical structures of a modern city not lending themselves to rioting in the way physical construction of the Five Points aided the Independence Day rioters, modern technology my be improving the socio-political impact of less violent forms of protest. [lxxiii] In fact, in places like Tahrir and most recently, Aleppo, social media has created new opportunities for disenfranchised minorities to wield considerable power. [lxxiv] Of course, Tahrir and Aleppo do not represent similar forms of action. The former represented a protest-cum-revolution against an oppressive regime, while the latter illustrated of the destructive power of an unchecked oppressive regime. However, both exhibited elements of riot action, including that of violence not just generally wielded, but specifically directed against other people. And it is important to recognize that this kind of interpersonal violence in riot actions is not just a problem that drifted abroad, having left America long ago. As Richard Hofstadter persuasively argues, America, “by history and habit” is a violent society. [lxxv] Americans have always been surprisingly tolerant of violent, historical moments and remarkably passive in trying to prevent future violence. The feebleness of current gun laws in the face of ever-rising numbers of preventable gun deaths alone serves to illustrate this passivity. In fact, it seems that the issues that drifted into and out of focus under the sound of gunfire and the cloud of dust and debris that rose over New York City in the summer of 1857 are at the heart of the violence, riot-related and otherwise, that still plagues America today. Similarly, wherever (and whenever) riots are found, the familiar themes of racism, xenophobia, and intolerance are never far off.

At the height of the 1960s Race Riots, Curtis Berger warned that “calm [would] not return to our cities except in an atmosphere of universal social justice,” where social justice included in its definition the implicit recognition of every man as a useful, participating, sensitive, discrete being.[lxxvi] Perhaps the present-day addendum should be this: in a country of privilege, built on the backs of stolen bodies and by burning pillaged resources, is the idyllic “atmosphere of universal justice” really attainable? And, if it is, should riots continue to be viewed as threats to democracy or should they be seen in more Jeffersonian terms? Now more than ever, the voices that will debate these questions must remember that America remains a “[city] upon a hill, [and] the [eyes] of all people are [upon] us.” [lxxvii]

[i] For a comprehensive general history of Five Points, see: Tyler Anbinder, Five Points: The 19th-Century New York City Neighborhood That Invented Tap Dance, Stole Elections, and Became the World’s Most Notorious Slum, (New York: The Free Press, 2001).

[ii] New York City Clerk, Filed Papers, Returns of the 1855 New York State Census, (New York City: Municipal Archives, Old Records Division, 1855). Accessed via on November 10, 2016.

[iii] Valentine, D.T. (compiler), Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York for 1857, (New York: Common Council, 1857), 121.

[iv] New York Tribune, 6 July 1857; New York Herald, 6 July 1857; History of the 71st Regiment, N.G., N.Y., American Guard, George Edward Lowen, ed. (New York: Eastman Publishing for The Veterans Association,1919), 35; and also New York Evening Post, 6 July 1857.

[v] By the time of the 4 and 5 July riots, Kerrigan had, with the help of Matthews, been restored to the City Council; New York Herald, 7 July 1857 (for reports that the pub at No. 40 Bowery was the headquarters of a gang called the Bowery Boys, run by Pat Matthews); Trow’s New York City Directory for the Year 1857, Wilson H., compiler, (New York: John F. Trow, 1857), 1 (for the address of Kerrigan’s residence); Valentine’s Manual 1857, 54 (for Gilmartin’s address); also see Anbinder, 274-280 (for details on the Bowery Boy-Molly Maguire dispute).

[vi] Trow’s 1857, 419.

[vii] New York Times, 10 July 1857 (testimony of Metropolitan Police Sergeant Joseph Souder on Florentine)—Souder, of 84½ Chatham Street was appointed Sergeant on 22 June, 1857 (Valentine’s Manual 1857, 137 (for date of appointment); Trow’s 1857 (for home address)); History of the 71st Regiment, 35-36; also Joshua Brown, “The ‘Dead Rabbit’-Bowery Boy Riot: An Analysis of the Antebellum New York Gang,” (M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, Spring, 1976), Appendix I, 167.

[viii] Trow’s 1857, 772.

[ix] Morning Express, 6 July, 1857 (for “coffee and cake saloon”) quoted in Anbinder, 285; Times, 10 July 1857 (for reports of the protectors of 36 and 40 Bowery being members of the “Bowery Boys” and supporters of Matthews).

[x] For a history of Fernando Wood’s political career, see: Pleasants, Samuel Augustus, Fernando Wood of New York as part of Studies in History, Economics, and Public Law, No. 536, Faculty of Political Science ofColumbia University, eds. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948).

[xi] King’s power play worked to an extent, as Wood was unseated in the 1858 election, but his successor, Daniel Tiemann was hardly more inclined to the Republican cause than was Wood. Then, in 1860, Wood achieved reelection and served the second term on which he had narrowly missed out two years prior.

[xii] Reginald H. Pitts, “ ‘A Teeming Nation of Nations’: Heyday of Five Points, 1830-1865, in Tales of Five Points: Working-Class Life in Nineteenth-Century New York, ed. Rebecca Yamin et al., Vol. I, “A Narrative History and Archeology of Block 160,” (West Chester, PA: John Milner Associates, 2000), 58 (for the 1841 license price); New York Herald, 4 July 1857 (for the post Excise Law license price).

[xiii] Valentine, D.T. (compiler), Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York for 1858, (New York: Common Council, 1858), 115.

[xiv] People ex. rel. Wood v. Draper, 14 How. Pr. 233 (N.Y. Sup. 1857).

[xv] People ex rel. Wood v. Draper, 25 Barb. 344 (N.Y. Sup 1857).

[xvi] George W. Walling, Recollections of a New York Police Chief, (New York: Caxton Book Concern, 1887), 54-58.

[xvii] Walling, 55.

[xviii]Harold M. Hyman and William M. Wieck, Equal Justice Under Law, (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1982), 161.

[xix] Tyler Anbinder, Nativism and Slavery, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), 147.

[xx] People ex. rel. Wood v. Draper, 15 N.Y. 532 (1857); New York Tribune, 3 July 1857 and Times, 2 July 1857.

[xxi] New York Herald, 6 and 7 July 1857. I have tried to be as accurate as possible in citing the evidence that I used to reconstruct the events of the July 4th riot, but the sources themselves vary from report to report. Overall, my portrayal of the events of that afternoon were pulled from the following sources: New York Herald, 6 and 7 July, 1857; New York Tribune, 6 July 1857; New York Times, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, and 17 July, 1857; and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, 18 July 1857.

[xxii] New York Tribune, 6 July 1857.

[xxiii] Trow’s New York City Directory for 1857; corroborated, whenever possible by the data from the 1855 New York Police Census.

[xxiv] New York Herald, 7 July 1857; New York Tribune, 6 July 1857 (for report on the total number of Bowery Boys who rushed to the aid of the Metropolitan Police); according to testimony in the Herald on July 6, (New York Herald, 6 July 1857) the Bowery Boys were able to respond to the beleaguered police force so quickly because they had been sending out scouting missions to look for the group that had attacked their headquarters in the early hours of the morning.

[xxv] New York Tribune, 6 July 1857.

[xxvi] Times, 6 July 1857.

[xxvii] Bricks were often left lying around in large piles in the Points. Landlords looking to update their old wooden tenements by building stronger brick houses in their stead, would have all their bricks delivered at once, because carting bricks was measured in loads (at forty cents per load), not weight, so fewer loads meant smaller overheads (D.T. Valentine (compiler), Manual of Corporation for New York City for the Year 1857, (New York: Common Council, 1857), 325.

[xxviii] Times, 6 July 1857 (for William Jenkins); New York Herald, 7 July 1857 (for reports of projectiles thrown from tenement windows and roofs); also Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, 18 July 1857; Trow’s New York City Directory of 1857, 74.

[xxix] Trow’s New York City Directory of 1857, 303, 370, 855, and 305.

[xxx] New York Tribune, 6 July 1857.

[xxxi] According to Charles Francis’ testimony in the Herald (New York Herald, 6 July 1857; and History of the 71st Regiment, 36), following the attacks on 40 and 42 Bowery in the early hours of Saturday morning, the Bowery Boys hoarded guns and ammunition, taken from local storekeepers and residents, vowing to protect the neighborhood if the angry crowd were to return. In fact, they feared that a rival gang (likely supporters of Matthew Brennan, then a Third District Police Court Judge and a political adversary of Matthews and Kerrigan) was planning an even bigger attack for later that day.

[xxxii] Times, 6 July 1857.

[xxxiii] Times, 10 July 1857.

[xxxiv] New York Tribune, 4 July 1857 (for Hitchock appointment); Joshua Brown, “The ‘Dead Rabbit’-Bowery Boy Riot: An Analysis of the Antebellum New York Gang,” (M.A. Thesis, Columbia University, Spring, 1976), Appendix III, 174 (for report of Hitchock’s death, though Brown lists the dead officer as “Harvey Hitchcock” rather than “Henry N. Hitchcock.” I have confirmed that Henry and Harvey are, in fact, the same person through referencing Trow’s New York City Directory for the Year 1857).

[xxxv] Tyler Anbinder, 277.

[xxxvi] The licensed fruit dealers in the area, whose carts are likely to have been commandeered for use in the Bowery Boy barricade are: Ambrose Gillen of No. 281½ Elizabeth Street, Jacob Kaiser of 217 Bowery, Patrick McGown? of 60 Baxter, Owen Rooney of 95 Mulberry, and Mary Tivnen, widow of James Tivnen, of 14 Baxter (Trow’s New York City Directory for 1857, 315, 432.)

[xxxvii] Times, 6 July 1857; also New York Herald, 7 July 1857

[xxxviii] History of the 71st Regiment, 37.

[xxxix] Times, 6 July 1857.

[xl] Times, 6 July 1857, (Testimony of Metropolitan Police Officer No. 994, Peter Anderson).

[xli] Joshua Brown, 165-169; also, Anbinder, 485 (for total number of those killed during the riot); Times, 6 July 1857 (for quote).

[xlii] “Requisition for the Military by the President of the Metropolitan Police,” Times, 6 July 1857; also History of the 71st Regiment, 39.

[xliii] Valentine’s Manual, 179.

[xliv] Trow’s 1857, 721.

[xlv] New York Tribune, 7 July 1857.

[xlvi] Rebecca Yamin (ed.), et al., Vol II, “An Interpretive Approach to Understanding Working-Class Life,” 294 (for availability of woolen garments); New York Herald, 4 July 1857 (for trends in the cotton market).

[xlvii] According to available sources, it appears that at least twelve people were killed or suffered fatal wounds during the riot, with tens more left injured, almost entirely due to the use of firearms.

[xlviii] For a sense of how frequently contemporary journalists contradicted one another on this issue, see Joshua Brown’s M.A. Thesis on the riot’s role in determining the prototypical antebellum, New York gang. Here I’ve condensed some of the various gang names Brown found attributed to the Sunday rioters in contemporary newspaper reports: “Kerryonians” (supporters of Kerry), “a number of five pointers and a gang of rowdies from some other locality”, “Centre Street Ruffians”, “Dead Rabbits” (or a dispute between two factions of “Dead Rabbits”), “Dead Rabbits [and another gang] who generally congregate in Centre, Pearl, and Elm Streets”, “denizens of Worth St., near Centre”, “the Pelters”, “the “Cow Bay Party”, the “Centre Street crowd”, and “The Bowery Boys” (Brown, 28-34).

[xlix] New York Tribune, 6 July 1857; also Times, 6 July 1857.

[l] New York Herald, 6 July 1857; Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly, 18 July 1857; also Times, 6 July 1857; see New York Tribune, (Sgt. Nathaniel Hicks’ Report) 6, 7 July, 1857.

[li] Trow’s 1857; and Trow’s 1858.

[lii] Trow’s 1858.

[liii] New York Tribune, 6, 7 July 1857.

[liv] Trow’s 1857, 121, 129, 376; Despite the neighborhood’s reputation as the slum of all slums, recent archeological findings suggest that residents owned some items of value and cherished and protected them. At 472 Pearl, for instance, the excavation turned up expensive period china that would not have seemed out of place in one of the park-side, uptown manors being built by the City’s emerging elites. In fact, an evaluation of all the evidence found in the Five Points excavation suggests that in terms of possession and quantity of valuable items, the neighborhood was no worse off than contemporary artisan-class tenements (Rebecca Yamin (ed.), et al., Vol. II, “An Interpretive Approach to Understanding Working-Class Life,” 14).

[lv] New York Tribune, 7 July 1857 (Hicks report).

[lvi] History of the 71st Regiment, 40-41.

[lvii] New York Herald, 6 July 1857.

[lviii] History of the 71st Regiment, 40; also Times, 6 July, 1857.

[lix] Iver Bernstein, The New York City Draft Riots, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 32.

[lx] The study of riots, which flourished between 1950 and 1980 has faded notably in recent times.

[lxi] A History of Riots, Keith Flett (ed.), (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015), vii.

[lxii] Adrian Cook, Armies of the Streets, (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1974), 5.

[lxiii] Bernstein, 32-42.

[lxiv] Jules Archer, Riot! A History of Mob Action in the United States, (New York: Hawthorne Books, Inc., 1974), 66.

[lxv] Sudhir Venkatesh, “A Note on Social Theory and the American Street Gang” in Gangs and Society: Alternative Perspectives, L. Barrios, D. Brotherton, L. Kontos (eds.), (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), 3.

[lxvi] Bernstein, 35.

[lxvii] Adrian Cook, Armies of the Streets, (Lexington: Unversity Press of Kentucky, 1974), 5.

[lxviii] Anbinder, 285.

[lxix] Brown, 28-34.

[lxx] George F.E. Rudé, Paris and London in the Eighteenth Century: Studies in Popular Protest, (London: Collins, 1970), 28.

[lxxi] George F.E. Rudé, “The Riots in History” in Marxism Today, (October, 1991).

[lxxii] Curtis J. Berger, “Law, Justice, and the Poor” in Urban Riots: Violence and Social Change, R. Connery (ed.), (New York: Vintage, 1969), 58.

[lxxiii] For more on how the physical city plays a role in riots, see: Eric Hobsbawm, “Cities and Insurrections” in Revolutionaries, (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973).

[lxxiv] For an interesting view on how social media has changed the reporting of historic events, see: Tweets from Tahrir: Egypt’s Revolution as it Unfolded, in the Words of the People Who Made it, N. Idle and A. Nunns (eds.), (New York: OR Books, 2011).

[lxxv] Richard Hofstadter, “Spontaneous, Sporadic, and Disorganized” in Violence and Riots in Urban America, C.H. Adair and R.F. Allen (eds.), (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc., 1969), 44.

[lxxvi] Berger, 58.

[lxxvii] John Winthrop, “A Modell of Christian Charity,” 1630.


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