Museum Open

The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library will be open on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. For details, please visit our calendar.

Draft wheel

Object Number: 
1865.6
Date: 
ca. 1863
Medium: 
Wood, metal
Dimensions: 
Overall: 23 x 25 1/2 x 21 3/4 in. ( 58.4 x 64.8 x 55.2 cm )
Marks: 
Plaque (engraved): DRAFT WHEEL/ USED JULY 13, 1863/ WITH NAMES OF RESIDENTS IN THE/ 7TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT N.Y. CITY/ COMPRISING THE 11TH AND 17TH WARDS/ PRESENTED BY FREDERIC C. WAGNER/ CAPTAIN AND PROVOST MARSHALL/ JUNE 20TH 1865 Description: Brass
Description: 
Civil War draft wheel; cylindrical drum with a rectangular, lockable hatch and an iron and wood handle, set on trestle frame with bracket feet and a turned stretcher; brass plaque on side. [3,606 registration cards with names of draft-eligible men, originally found in the drum, are held by the N-YHS Library].
Gallery Label: 
This drum-shaped wheel was used in the draft lottery for the Civil War held on July 13, 1863 in the 7th Congressional District, comprising the 11th and 17th Wards of New York City (the East Side below 14th Street and above Rivington Street). The draft lottery, part of the nation's first conscription act, touched off the worst urban riots in American history.
Bibliography: 
Holzer, Harold, ed. "Lincoln and New York." New York: The New-York Historical Society and London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd., 2009. Holzer, Harold and The New-York Historical Society. "The Civil War in 50 Objects." New York: Viking, 2013.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Frederic C. Wagner
Exhibitions: 
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group