The Late Fiendish Riots

July 24, 1863

“Whoever attempts to charge upon the conscription act the origin of the late fiendish riots in New York and elsewhere, is to be set down as extremely credulous or boldly dishonest….. It has been a part of the programme of the Southern traitors, from the beginning of their revolt, if driven to the wall to stir up in due time, in all the leading cities and towns of the North, those elements of ignorance and depravity which are easily ‘set on fire of hell’ by the concealed hands of confederate sympathizers…The draft simply furnished the occasion to inflame the passions of the dangerous classes, under the guise of resisting a tyrannical edict; but the determination to invoke the aid of incendiarism and assassination, in the last resort, was coeval with the act of Southern secession…..The peculiarity of these riots is, that the mass of those who participate in them are the lowest and most brutal of the Irish population. …For them we have no burning indignation: they are the wretched victims of intelligent and desperate conspirators, who deal with them as the gambler does with his loaded dice….”

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