Published by Jacoby & Stuart
In my book "Wicked New York“, I recount in words and images the great uprisings in mid-19th century New York. The main focus is the revolt against conscription during the American Civil War. To this day, these remain the greatest civil uprisings in the history of the United States. It may be surprising how little most of us know about them to this day.
In the first two years of the American Civil War, the South had by no means scored the military successes to which bold expectations had previously been raised. The disillusionment was great and the enthusiasm for war had almost completely disappeared on the occasion of the many returning war veterans. There was a lack of volunteers – and therefore the citizens were forced to go to war.
One of the specific triggers for the draft riots that immediately followed in New York was the Conscription Act, which made it possible for the well-heeled to buy their way out of conscription with 300 dollars, at that time the annual salary of a worker. A massive class as well as race riot, whose targets included New York's powerful as well as the marginalized black population, was the result.
The book in which my spray-paintings accompany my narrative was published by Jacoby & Stuart. The images were photographically reproduced by Markus Esser.