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4) Professor John Torrey(excerpt of his Wednesday letter to Harvard colleague Asa Gray) 

You doubtless learn from the newspapers that our city is still in the power of a brutal mob. We were not molested on Monday night, & I slept well, partly undressed. We are all quite calm & are chiefly concerned about our servants. Yesterday there were cars only on the lower part of 4th Avenue -- all the others in the city, & the omnibuses were withdrawn. I was obliged to walk up from Wall St. in the heat of the day. On reaching home I found that we had been warned that all the College buildings were to be destroyed at night. Jane and Maggie had some of their most valuable articles packed, but we did not know where to send them. A friend took our basket of silver to her house. I look about to see what few articles I could put in a small traveling bag, but it was very difficult to make a selection. There were so many (to me) precious little souvenirs that it grieved me to think they would probably be destroyed...

...This morning I was obliged to ride down to the office in a hired coach. A friend who rode with me had seen a poor negro hung an hour or two before. The man had, in a frenzy, shot an Irish fireman, and they immediately strung up the unhappy African. At our office there had been no disturbance in the battery of about 25 rifle barrels, carrying 3 balls each & mounted on a guncarriage. It could be loaded & fired with rapidity. We had also 10-inch shells, to be lighted & thrown out of the windows. Likewise quantities of SO, with arrangements for projecting it on the mob. Walking home we found that a large number of soldiers -- infantry, artillery & cavalry are moving about, & bodies of armed citizens. The worst mobs are on the 1st & 2nd & 7th Avenues. Many have been killed there. They are very hostile to the negros, & scarcely one of them is to be seen. A person who called at our house this afternoon saw three of them hanging together. The Central Park has been a kind of refuge to them. Hundreds were there to-day, with no protection in a very severe shower. The Station Houses of the police are crowed with them.

Walking out on 5th Avenue near 48th St., a man who lives there told me that a few minutes before, in broad sunlight, three ruffians seized the horses of a gentleman's carriage & demanded money. By whipping up, they barely escaped. Immediately afterwards they stopped another carriage, turned the persons out of it, & then got in themselves, shouting & brandishing their clubs. Concessions have not yet quieted the mob, & the soldiers cannot be every where. Reinforcements will doubtless arrive, & we shall have law & order.

 

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