4. Colored Orphans Asylum – 5th Ave and 42nd Street
Image from Library of Congress
In one of the more disturbingly racist acts of the Draft Riots, white protestors targeted the Quaker-run Colored Orphans Asylum on 5th Avenue, citing their fears of impending job competition from emancipated slaves moving to the North. The orphanage, established in 1836, was the first institution to take black children whose parents had died. News of the riot reached them early, and the children were smuggled through a back door. The building was burned, but was rebuilt in the Bronx four years later. The block is now occupied by a branch of the Parsons School.