1864: “The Fair For The Sanitary Commission Is A Good Excuse…”

March 17, 1864

I went today to the Knickerbocker Kitchen Committee for the benefit of the Sanitary Fair. Mrs. Judge Roosevelt is chairman. she wants us to wear the old Dutch costume. Hers is already being made, she said. It is too far from the Fair, being in Union Square, and too few, I thought were interested. Having a sore throat and being afraid of too much work and exposure, I backed out and promised to get Mother to send all that she could. I do not think I have any vocation for public life. I am too knickerbocker to be sufficiently democratic and did not particularly fancy the idea of being seated in cap, short gown, and petticoats, pouring tea for all the rabble that (in such a great city) would come to give their mite to the Sanitary Commission. They would be gratifying their curiosity, and I would be part of the show. My name, too, being so public a one, would be sure of being in the papers. Continue reading

1863: “At Last The Riot Is Quelled”

July 23, 1863

At last the riot is quelled, but we had four days of great anxiety. Fighting went on constantly in the streets between the military and police and the mob, which was partially armed. The greatest atrocities have been perpetrated. Colonel O’Brain was murdered by the mob in such a brutal manner that nothing in the French Revolution exceeded it. Three or four Negroes were hung and burned; the women assisted and acted like furies by stimulating the men to greater ferocity. Father came into the city on Friday, being warned about his house, and found fifteen Negroes secreted in it by Rachel. They came from York Street, which the mob had attacked, with all their goods and chattels… Continue reading