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The Mercantile Library Association was founded in 1820 by a group of merchants that included men like Jacob Lorillard. Their goal was to instill good habits among the growing number of clerks in the city. In particular, they encouraged book… Read More

Merchants often chose to resell their goods at auction houses such as the one run by the Hone brothers. There is where Philip Hone made his fortune before choosing to enter politics and serve as New York’s mayor for one term. Read More

Mobs lynched many of the black men they caught on the streets, hanging them on trees or lamp posts. Read More

These vignettes provide a vivid picture of mob mentality.
Mob leaders harangue the crowd--composed of a motley crew of men and women--inciting them to violence.
Violence erupts when the crowd captures a black man and drags him along the street with… Read More

Rioters chose their victims at random regardless of gender or age. Women and children were attacked with impunity and lost their lives. Read More

During the draft riots of 1863, the asylum was burned to the ground on the very first day of the violence. Read More