Rare New York City Major During Civil War Draft Riots
OPDYKE, George (1805-1880). Mayor of New York City. He occupied this position during the draft riots of July 1863. Outbreaks occurred throughout different parts of the city as the military tried to disperse the rioters. The rioters generally outnumbered the military forces twenty to one or more. The pressing need for more soldiers prompted Congress to pass the Enrollment Act on March 3, 1863. The Act required compulsory military service for all able bodied men between the ages of 25 and 45. The Act became effective on July 11, 1863. On July 13, an unruly crowd attacked the draft headquarters and set it on fire. The rioters were joined by thousands of sympathizers and the mod roamed freely throughout New York City. Their hate was directed toward African-Americans who were considered responsible for the Civil War. Many blacks were hung and their neighborhoods were burned. Rioting continued until Mayor Opdyke requested military support.
The Hate was directed toward African-Americans
Rare check, bearing a wonderful cachet of a sailor, ship and Indian on the County Treasurer of new York at the Broadway Bank. March 5, 1863 (two days after Congress passed the Enrollment Act) in the amount of $66.66 made payable to Philip Cosgriff or Stilwell & Swain for salary as attendant Court of General Sessions for January 1863. Signed by the City Comptroller, Clerk, County Bookkeeper and by George Opdyke as mayor of New York City. Cancellation cuts not affecting any of the signatures. In excellent condition. Sander’s Price Guide lists a similar check for $900.00. Our price only......................... $395.00