JULY 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

The New York City Draft Riot, similar to the Detroit Draft Riot, was caused by the exemption clause of the Enrollment Act of Conscription and racial tensions between African Americans and white citizens. On July 13, 1863, rioters gathered outside of the Provost Marshal office, attacking the officers, setting fire to the building, and eventually burning down the entire block. African Americans throughout the city were beaten, tortured, and even killed. The riot ended on July 16, 1863, after 105 people died and at least 11 black men were lynched.


1, 4-6, 9-10, 12-13, 19, 22. Library of Congress

2. To the Laboring Men of New York, 18 July 1863 (litho)
American School, (19th century)
Gilder Lehrman Collection, New York, USA
The Bridgeman Art Library

3, 7, 8, 14-18, 20-21. General Research & Reference Division
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,
The New York Public Library
Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations