It would be difficult or impossible to attempt to review the extensive range of sources which appear in the annotation for this study or which were used in its preparation. What follows is a brief survey and evaluation of some of the most important primary sources, and of secondary works I have found helpful in nineteenth-century social, cultural, and political history.
The Civil War context enables the historian to develop a rather fine-grained sociological portrait of the draft riots. The political climate of July 1863 was so charged with considerations of national loyalty and the stakes of involvement in the treasonous violence were so high that even the most minute circumstances of participation and non-participation were noticed. The newspapers--especially the Herald, Irish American, Daily News, Evening Express, Daily Tribune, and Times--were extremely thorough in their reportage of rioters' identities, words, and activities. No less attentive were the scores of eyewitnesses who published their impressions in pamphlets and recorded them in private correspondence, diaries, and memoirs. David Barnes, The Draft Riots in New York, July 1863 ( New York, 1863), a precinct-by-precinct account of police activities, William O. Stoddard , The Volcano under the City. By a Volunteer Special ( New York, 1887), Ellen Leonard, Three Days' Reign of Terror, or the July Riots in 1863, in New York ( New York, 1867), Lucy Gibbons Morse, Personal Recollections of the Draft Riot of 1863," 2, Knapp/ Powell, Trunk 1, New-York Historical Society, and the descriptions of attacks on the black community in Committee of Merchants for the Relief of Colored People, "Suffering from the Late Riots in the City of New York", Report, in James M. McPherson, ed., Anti-Negro Riots in the North, 1863 ( New York, 1969), are a few of the more useful among the scores of first-hand accounts. The extraordinary self-consciousness of New Yorkers during the bloody week--their sense that every skirmish affected the future of the city and the nation--allows us to reconstruct the draft riots in very intimate detail.
No study of the riots could be written without consulting the records of the National Archives. To reconstruct the response of government and military offi