Find Your Troy, NY area ancestors, Irish or Not
ST. PATRICK’S DAY RIOT-1837
The following material is taken from page 140 of the book
Troy’s One Hundred Years 1789-1889 by Arthur James Weise, M.A.
This book was published by William H. Young, 7 and 9 First Street, Troy, NY in 1891.
“On St. Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17th, 1837, a number of effigies were suspended by cords in different parts of the city by boys for the purpose of ridiculing the reverence of the Irish inhabitants for their patron saint. About ten o’clock in the morning, an incensed Irishman, attempting to pull one down at the foot of Ferry Street, was driven away by some men and boys guarding it. He collected a large body of his fellow-countrymen and returned to accomplish the removal of the effigy. Stones were thrown and the wildest disorder prevailed for a time during the brief melee at the intersection of Ferry and River streets. John P. Cole was shockingly mained, and other citizens were injured by flying missiles. The mob proceeded along Ferry Street, and near the corner of Third knocked down and maltreated a man in a horrible manner. An attack was made on Theodorus Valleau’s store at that point and the building was badly damaged. Richard P. Hart, the mayor of the city, attended by other officials , went there, and ordered the rioters to disperse.
Shortly afterward the store of Amory Felton, on the corner of Ferry and Fourth streets, was attacked and nearly all the doors and windows were broken. At noon the Citizens’ Corps was ordered under arms by the mayor. A number of people were seriously hurt by the mob at the intersection of Ferry and Fifth streets. Some of the rioters were arrested there, and lodged in the jail. The Rev. John Shanahan of St. Peter’s Church earnestly exhorted the excited Irishmen to retire to their homes and to avoid making any further disturbance of the peace. Many heeding his advice quitted the crowded streets.
In the evening, there was considerable rioting in Fifth Street, south of Ferry Street. Stones were again thrown and several guns were fired. William Wallace, Eliza Clohesy, and Joseph Grimes were shot and dangerously wounded. Many other pesons were hurt. The appearance of the Citizens’ Corps at the scene of the rioting caused the participants to retire without compulsion. About twenty of the ring-leaders were committed to jail.”