Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 12, Part 1

By Holice and Debbie

 

CHAPTER XII--1871--1876
CLUBS MORE TRUSTWORTHY THAN LEADEN BALLS

Orange Riots -- Police and Military Called Out -- The Streets of New York Again the Scene of Riots and Bloodshed -- The Militia, unauthorized, Fire Upon the Mob -- Eleven Killed and Thirty Wounded -- Cleaning of Streets Charged to the Board of Police -- Completion of the Building of the House of Detention -- Tables of Arrests -- Time Lost to the Department by Reason of Sickness -- property Clerk's Returns -- presentation of the Flag of Honor -- An Act to Re-organize the Local Government of New York -- the Board of Police to Consist of Five Members -- A Revised Manual issued to the Force -- Duties of the Several heads of the Department and of the Force Generally -- Regulation Uniforms -- Qualifications for Appointment as a Patrolman--Measures of Economy Introduced--Board of Surgeons -- Police Salaries -- The Board Made to Consist of Four Members -- Changes in the Board.

One would suppose that the terrible events narrated in the chapters devoted to sketch of the draft riots would have so impressed themselves on the hearts and memory of the present generation that anything like their recurrence would be an impossibility. Yet eight years later the streets of New York were again alive with riotous mobs, and the Police and military were again called our to disperse them. This was on the twelfth of July, 1871. On that day the Orange societies of this and neighboring cities and towns had assembled to hold a parade. As might have been expected, scenes of great disordered followed, and, owing to the hasty action of the military, several innocent persons lost their lives by being shot down.

This time the angry passions of the mob were aroused, not by any sense of injuries inflicted, or about to be inflicted, by the general or local governments; the trouble was not occasioned by any dread of hunger, persecution, or party politics. It was a revival of a quarrel of two hundred years standing, which, year by year, has increased in bitterness, the contending forces being arrayed beneath the Orange and the Green.

King James II was the reigning and lawful King of Great Britain and Ireland, when driven from his throne by William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, the decisive battle having been fought on the banks of the river Boyne, in Ireland. William of Orange ascended the throne, and King James went into exile. The latter was a Catholic monarch and the former professed the Protestant faith. To commemorate this victory, Ulster Protestants in 1795 formed a religio-politico society. Both their religion and their politics were of a very pronounced type. They were, although numerically a handful, compared with the Catholic population, strong in the protecting of the government, and their fanaticism and bigotry, from generation to generation, have kept ablaze in the north of Ireland, the fires of religious intolerance and political persecution. Neither has time diminished nor age decayed the intensity of these national prejudices, nor eradicated the memory of those party strifes. The Orange and the Green still maintain the irrepressible conflict, each side being tenacious of its principles and jealous of its "rights."

When, then, the Orange anniversary came round, the Orange societies turned out in great force, protected by the military and Police. Acting upon instructions received from Mayor Hall, superintendent Kelso, on the day before, had issued an order forbidding the parade. This, as the result proved, has but playing unintentionally into the hands of the Orangemen, as it aroused public opinion in their favor, and Governor Hoffman hastened from Albany and issued a proclamation countermanding Mayor Hall's order, and giving permission to the Orangemen to parade, promising at the same time that a Police and military escort would be furnished them. Large crowds of people congregated at several points throughout the city, who, with few exceptions, were drawn thither out of idle, but reprehensible curiosity, to see the parade and know what was to come out of it. True, it was not a sympathizing, much less a friendly mob, there being few among them who would not cheerfully lend their personal assistance in wiping the thoroughfare with the bodies of the paraders.

The line of march resolved upon was down Eighth Avenue to Twenty-third Street, and up that thoroughfare to Fifth Avenue, to Fourteenth Street, to Union Square, and down Fourth Avenue to Cooper Institute, where the procession was to break up. Eighth Avenue, in the vicinity of Lamartine Hall, where the Orange societies were forming inline, was jammed with an excited throng. The Police advanced and swept the street, from Thirtieth to Twenty-eighth Street, the Police forming several deep, and only leaving room enough for the cars to pass.

Police Headquarters, in the meantime, has assumed the air and bustle that pervaded the place during the week of the draft riots. Commissioners Manierre, Smith, and Barr were in their offices; General Shaler and staff were located in the Fire Marshal's office, while squads of soldiers and Policemen kept arriving and departing. The place presented a decidedly warlike appearance. Information was being constantly received that bands of rioters were parading certain sections of the city, making ready to join battle with the Orangemen. Inspector Jameson, with two hundred and fifty Policemen, was dispatched in stages to Forty-seventh Street and Eighth Avenue; Captain Allaire, of the Seventh Precinct, was hurried off with fifty men to protect Harper's Building in Franklin Square, which, it was rumored, was to be attacked by the rioters; five hundred Policemen were massed in Eighty Avenue; Captain Mount, with a hundred Policemen, was detailed to look after a gang of rioters who had made an attack on the Armory, at No. 19 Avenue A, in the hopes of securing arms; Drill Captain Copeland was given five companies with which to seize Hibernia Hall, where the charged and dispersed the crowd.

The Orange headquarters were, however, the focal point of excitement, to which converged knots of hot-blooded men, women (for, as usual on such occasions, the weaker sex was well represented), and the maledictions that were breathed on the heads of the Orange societies were both loud and deep. The Orangemen formed in line in Twenty-ninth Street, neat Eighth Avenue. The strong body of Police was massed in advance. Next came the Ninth Regiment, followed at a short interval by the Sixth Regiment; while a body of Police succeeded them. Nothing of moment happened until the head of the procession reached Twenty-sixth Street, when some little disorder was occasioned by an attempt of the Police to clear the sidewalk. A halt was ordered at Twenty-fourth Street. A shot was fired from a window, and in an instant the Eighty-fourth Regiment had the spot covered with their muskets, when, without waiting for orders, they discharged a volley, they Six and Ninth Regiments emulating the example of the Eighty-fourth. The next instant, as the smoke cleared off, eleven corpses were seen stretched on the sidewalk, with terrified men, women and children, overturning and trampling on each other in maddened excitement to get out of the way of the slaughter. "A pause of a few minutes now followed," says Headley in his Sketches of the Great riots, "while the troops reloaded their guns. A new attack was momentarily expected, and no one moved from the ranks to succor the wounded or life up the dead. Here a dead woman lay across a dead man; there a man, streaming with blood, was creeping painfully up a doorstep, while crouching, bleeding forms appeared in every direction. Women from the windows looked down on the ghastly spectacle, gesticulating wildly. The Police now cleared the avenue and side streets, when the dead and wounded were attended to, and the order to move on was given. General Varian, indignant at the conduct of the Eighty-four in firing first without orders, sent it to the rear, and replaced it on the flank of the Orangemen with a portion of the Ninth. The procession, as it now resumed its march, and moved through Twenty-fourth Street, was a sad and mournful one. * * * * * Two of the Police and military were killed, and twenty-four wounded, all, however, from the reckless discharge of the muskets of the military; while of the rioters thirty-nine were killed, and sixty-seven wounded, making in all one hundred and twenty-eight victims."

The procession resumed its march and moved through Twenty-fourth Street. The windows along the route of the procession were filled with spectators, and crowds lined the sidewalks, but all were silent and serious. No more trouble took place and the Cooper Institute was reached and the processions disbanded.

Much indignation was expressed at the action of the troops for firing without waiting for orders, and firing so wildly as to wound and kill some of their own men.

The scenes at Bellevue Hospital, where the dead and wounded were taken, ware of a most distressing character. The ambulances kept discharging their bloody loads at the doors, and groans of distress, and shrieks of pain filled the air. Long rows of cots filled with ,mangled forms, were stretched on every side, while the surgeons were kept constantly employed dressing the wounds of the injured. The dead lay in the morgue.

Thus were the streets of New York again baptized with citizens' blood.

TABLE SHOWING LOCATION AND CONDITION OF STATION HOUSES.

 

#

LOCATION

OWNER

COND.

REMARKS

1

Nos. 52 & 54 New Street

John J. Cisco

Fair

Leased for 10 years, from May 1, 1865, at $3,000 per year

2

N0. 49 Beekman St.

City

Good

Recently thoroughly repaired, and as well adapted as the insufficient dimensions will permit

3

No. 160 Chambers St.

City

Good

Not sufficiently capacious

4

No. 9 Oak Street

City

1st Class

A new and commodious station house has just been completed and will be occupied on the 10th April inst.

5

Nos. 19 and 21 Leonard St.

City

Good

New

6

No. 9 Franklin Street

City

Bad

Condemned by Superintendent of Unsafe Buildings; has been temporarily repaired; a new building in a more healthy location is imperatively needed.

7

No, 247 Madison St.

City

Good

 

8

Corner Prince & Wooster Sts.

City

Good

 

9

No. 94 Charles St.

City

Good

Too small for purposes required

10

Nos. 87 & 89 Eldridge St.

City

Good

Building new.

11

Union Market

City

 

Accommodations insufficient and inappropriate; new station house is required for comfort and health of the force.

12

125th St., between 3rd & 4th Avenues

City

First Class

New

13

Corner Attorney & Delancey Sts.

City

Fair

Small and indifferent accommodations.

14 

No. 53 Spring Street

City

 

A new station house for this precinct, and a hours for dentition of witnesses, are now in process of erection at Nos. 201, 203, 205 & 207 Mulberry St.

15

No. 221 Mercer Street

City

Good

Building good, and in good order.

16

No. 230 W. 20th St.

City

Good

Building small; recently refitted

17

Corner 1st. Ave. & 5th St.

City

Good

Indifferent accommodations for the wants of the precinct.

18

No. 327 E. 22nd St.

City

Good

Rebuilt in 1864.

19

No. 229 E. 59th St.

City

Bad

New house imperatively needed

20

No. 352 W. 35th St.

City

First Class

New

21

No. 120 E. 35th St.

City

Fair

An old building refitted

22

Nos. 345 & 347 W. 47th St.

City

Good

 

23

40th Ave. & 86th St.

Abram Wakeman

Bad

Leased for two years, from May 1, 1870, at $2,000 per year; accommodations unsatisfactory; premises not adapted to station house purposes; lots have been secured on E. 88th St., with a view of erecting a new building.

24

Steamer "Seneca"

City

First Class

The harbor Police are now provided with better accommodation than at any tine since the institution of this branch of the service; the steamer "Seneca" bought and fitted up in 1870, is in all respects what is needed for harbor duty.

25

No. 34 E. 29th St.

Peter Golet & Others

Good

Leased for fifteen years, from May 1, 1870, at $1,500 per year; premises refitted and in excellent condition.

26

City Hall (Basement)

City

Fair

 

27

Corner Liberty & Church Sts.

City

First Class

New

28

No. 550 Greenwich St.

Wm. A. Martin

Bad

Leased for one year, from May 1, 1871, at $2,500 per year; accommodations entirely inadequate; a new station house is an imperatively necessity.

29

Nos. 137 & 139 W. 30th St.

City

First Class

New

30

Corner 128th St. & Broadway

Wm. A. Guton

Bad

Leased for one year, from May 1, 1870, at #1,500 per year; new station house indispensable.

31

100th St., between 9th & 10th Aves.

City

First Class

New

32

Corner 10th Ave. & 152nd. St.

City

 

Arrangements have been made for a new and more commodious building to meet the requirements of the precinct.

 

Next

Our Police Protectors, History of the New York Police, Published for the benefit of the Police Pension Fund, by Augustine Costello, Published by Author, 1885.

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Debbie

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