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James Harper's claim for damages sustained in the New York City draft riots of July, 1863. Includes an itemized list of damaged goods and wares which totals $345. Subsequent documents and annotations indicate Harper was paid $150 for the damages by the County of New York. The address of his establishment is noted as 533 Third Avenue.


Claim of James Harper

533 Third Ave N.Y. City

the following articles destroyed, stolen

Glass Case & Contents $ 15.00

Ciffin(?) Case & Contents “10.00

cales 1 pan “ “ 5.00

Candy(?) glass Jars & Contents “ 30.00

Tobacco & Sefans(?) 60.00

1 Clock 10.00

Toys 25.00

Bar Glass Ware 20.00

Cigars upon bar 50.00

Liquor Destroyed stolen 50.00

Pictures 20.00

Cash stolen from Till 15.00

Doctors bill for attendances for Infermies received in Stne(?) 15.00


Damaged(?) and Destroyed in Monday 13th day July between the homes of 5 &6 CPO(?)

James Harper

James Harper Claims $ 345.00

He kept a small place at 533 3rd Avenue for the sale of Candies, Liquors & Segars and from the appearance of the place I am satisfied it has been his intention to make a good sale to the City, he now resides in Hartford, and the person occupying the place says it is similar to what it was when in his possession. Both quantities and prices of goods taken are greatly exagerated. His Bar the contents of which he charges $80 for were not worth $30, he claim for $15 taken from his till, he did not sell $5 a day and it is not real wealth to support he left his money in his till at night he also charges $15 for [?] Bill. I am convinced that if he received $175 he would be well paid.

F(?). R. Lee

In the matter of the claim of James Harper

James Harper being duly sworn testified as follows. I resided at the time of the riot at 533 3rd Ave I reside now in Connecticut. I kept a sugar store and fancy articles. I was home at the time of the riot. It took place between 5 & 6 P.M. I think there was about 20 or 25 violators & a large number outside in my store.

They destroyed everything nothing of any value was left. I have not recovered any of the articles since the riot.The glass counter case about 4x2 ft. 1 foot high contained, fancy articles such as, taper lights, pipes meerscham &c. Some playing cards the case cost $10.00 about 3 months previous to the riot. I think there was at least 2 doz meerscham pipes cost me $18.00 per doz. I had 4 doz. candy jars. I had 1 week previous to the riot $15.00 segars. I kept a bar in the back of the stone I had 12 decanters. I started there with $90.00 worth of liquors as the [?] became empty I filled them up. The pictures were French & were hanging up in my bedroom. The $15.00 was in the money store drawer in the front store. $6.00 I put in the morning & the balance was taken in during the day.

I do not remember were I bought the meercscham pipe. I paid $15.00 to the doctor for injuries received during the riot.

I purchased the segars of Putnam on the 8th Ave.

James Harper

Sworn to before me this 22nd day of Oct/63

Smith Ely Jr.

The County of New York

To James Harper

1863 July

Hundred bill for damage by rioters $345.00

Allowed by the Board of Supervisors at 175.00

Dedicated by Comptroller 25.00


City and County of New York, ss

James Harper being duly sworn, deposes and says, that the items charged in the above account are correct; that the services specified and articles therein have in fact been performed and furnished, and by due authority; also that the prices charged are reasonable and just, and that said account has not been, either in whole or in part, paid, satisfied or assigned, and that the same is now justly due to him.

Sworn to before me,

Hor. C(?) 1863 James Datsoy(?) Notary public N.Y. Com. of Deeds.

James Harper

Received,- New York, Apr 11 1863, from Matthew T. Brennan, Comptroller of the city and sustained by me, by and in consequence of the Riot which prevailed in said city in the month of July 1863, and in full satisfaction and discharge of all claims and demands whatsoever against the City of County of New York, by or in consequence of said riot.

James Harper


County Expenditures

Audit No. 2114

Warrant No. 4489

Record No. 298 $150.00

Receipt of James Harper

For damage by riot 533 3rd Ave

Month of July 1863

Abstract No. 1

Distribution of Account*

(*out of what appropriation)

Riot Damages

Res: Oct. 26 1863

[Stamp by New York Department of Finance signed by James Datsoy]

Creation Date



New York


New York


New York


United States


James Harper, New York City, New York City draft riots, New York draft riots, draft riots, claim, damage

Resource Identifier


Date Digital


Document Type



Cultural History | History | Legal | Political History | Social History | United States History


Wofford College



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

James Harper's claim for damages from New York City draft riots, October 22, 1863.



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