New York Doctor’s Riot

The Dastardly Past:  the New York Doctor’s Riot.

dripps-1852

In April of 1788, a young boy peeps through a window into a dissecting room.  The medical student waves a dismembered arm at him and tells him it belonged to the boy’s recently deceased mother.  Upon investigation in Trinity Churchyard, the family discovers that the mother’s grave is indeed empty, and public sentiment boils over.  In the absence of regulated sources for cadavers, students of “physic,” as it was called then, had necessarily turned to robbing graves for bodies to dissect.  As long as the bodies belonged to the poor or to minorities, New Yorkers turned a blind eye.  This time an angry mob reacts against the desecration of their loved ones.  They march on the hospital and destroy the anatomy room.  The incident becomes so heated that it results in a two-day riot.  The militia and cavalry finally quell the mob, but not before almost 20 people die.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s