Theodore Roosevelt > New York > Page 234
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919).  New York.  1906.

Page 234
earn their daily bread, and any period of sudden and severe distress threw them into a starving condition. There were one or two great fires which were really appalling calamities to the city; and the terrible panic of 1836—37 produced the most widespread want and suffering. Flour went up to fifteen dollars a barrel. The poor were cast into abject misery, and were inflamed by demagogues, who raised the cry of “the poor against the rich,” and denounced in especial the flour and grain dealers. The “Bread Riots” of January, 1837, were the result. A large mob assembled in response to placards headed “Bread! Meat! Rent! Fuel! their prices must come down!” and assailed and sacked some of the stores and warehouses, strewing the streets with flour and wheat. It was toward nightfall before the police could restore order. There were also savage labor riots, generally caused when the trades-unions ordered a strike, and strove to prevent other workmen from taking the places of the strikers. In all of these cases the masses of the rioters were foreign born.
  They were also riots against the Abolitionists; their meetings were broken up and their leaders sometimes maltreated. Moreover there were bloody encounters between native American and foreign—usually Irish—mobs. Finally there were frequent riots about election time, at the great



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