Children Killed During 1863 NYC Draft Riots

I was at the Municipal Archives, researching one black man who was killed during the July, 1863 Draft Riots in New York City, when I noticed a lot of children were killed during the riots as well. If you don’t know about the riots, you can google it, but for three days people went on the rampage here in New York City. I don’t know a lot about it myself, and I’m getting the sense that scholars disagree about just what the riot was about, but for now I want to note the children who died.

I started looking into it, and I believe more children died than what I initially found, but here are the names listed in the Coroner’s Inquest Journals. A number of children, some of whom were participating in the riot, were killed when soldiers fired on rioters at the Armory at 2nd Avenue and 21st Street

Unnamed boy, 13, who died from injuries received at Armory.
Jane Barry, 10, killed by furniture thrown out of the window of the Colored Orphan Asylum.
William Boyle, 19, shot by soldiers on 7/16.
Mary Ann Carmody, 10, shot 10th Avenue and 42nd Street.
Patrick Casey, 10, gun shot, 7/15, 42nd Street near 11th Avenue.
William Conway, 14, gunshot.
John Costello, 12, burned to death at the Armory.
Peter Farrell, 13, gun shot, 10th Avenue.
Charles Fisbeck, Jr., 10, gun shot at Armoy.
Patrick Garvey, 14, shot by soldiers, 11th Avenue, 7/16.
Ellen Kirke, 2, gun shot, at 206 East 35th Street.
William Joyce, 19, gun shot, 7/16.
James Lee, 19, blows from riot.
Elizabeth Marshall, 6, gun shot, 7/15.
Francis McCabe, 18, gun shot, 36th Street and 9th Avenue.
William [Murphy or Mulley] 9, shot by “negro”, 32nd Street near 6th Avenue, 7/15.
Honora Murphy, 11, shot, 7/14.
William Stevens, 3, gun shot, 7/14.
William Henry Thompson, 10, shot by military while rioting, 7/14.
Catherine Waters, 12, shot by military while rioting, 7/14.

I didn’t know which picture to post today, but this one seems kinda appropriate. It’s a picture of an arrest in Washington Square Park that I passed by last week. I was a little taken aback by the holiday atmosphere of the crowd around the arrested man, but I don’t know the backstory.


Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

4 thoughts on “Children Killed During 1863 NYC Draft Riots

  1. Hello Stacy,

    I’m interested in what references you are using for the name of these children. I’m a native New Yorker, a current resident, and amateur historian. I came across an article on the draft riots who list James Costello as an adult black shoemaker who was killed on west 32nd Street after defending himself by shooting his initial would be attacker in the head with a pistol. This would conflict with him being 12, burned at the 2nd Avenue Armory.

    I’d be very interested if you are finding addresses of the children you mention, as I’m looking into the old first style tenement buildings along First Avenue from 17th to 19th streets, which stand today, as being some of the buildings described in attacks on Day Three when rioters hurled missiles from the roofs of these building at the police below.

    Thank you,


  2. Hi Kevin! As I say in the post, the records are at the Municipal Archives in New York, the collection is the New York City County Coroner Inquests, which are on microfilm. The records only note the location where the children (and others) were killed, not where they lived. The child I reference was John Costello, not James. But I do have a list of deaths that I hadn’t confirmed, and probably never will. This was a side project I was looking into while I was writing Damnation Island and I never got back to it. This always happens to me when I go the the Municipal Archives. I go there to research one thing and find so many other interesting things to look into. But 12-year-old John Costello is on this list of draft riot deaths that I meant to confirm. I didn’t write down why I needed to confirm the deaths on this list, they could be perfectly fine, but there must of been something conflicting about what I found for each one on that list and I wanted to confirm the facts. If you are in New York you should definitely visit the Municipal Archives and go through their records. You should email them to see if they have suggestions of other collections to explore to find what you are looking for.

  3. Hello Stacy, Yours was a fascinating article. I was hoping you might have advice that I could use in my family tree search. I believe my great X3 grandparents (John Hynes / Bridget Smythe Hynes) were wounded and later died during the riot. and that two of their sons Patrick Hynes (16) and James Hynes (9) were also killed that week in July. They were living on Greenwich Street between Clarkson and Houston, a site of rioting and several lynchings. They were in the 1860 federal census. in 1870 they were gone but their other kids were still living there. I found an august 1863 news article that John Hynes was petitioning the city for compensation for loss of time from a gunshot wound received during the riot. And a news listing from the post office on dead letters for John Hynes of Greenwich Street. Can you tell me where I might find a comprehensive listing of those killed during the riot. Thank you so much. Dennis

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