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Complete Explanation:
"Swann Fund Purchase

New York governor Horatio Seymour's famous "My Friends" speech, delivered from the steps of New York's City Hall during the draft riots, was widely misrepresented in the press. On the basis of reports such as this, Seymour was viewed as a disloyal "Copperhead" agitator. The riots, which took place between July 11 and 16, 1863, broke out as a result of the Enrollment Act, which was highly discriminatory to the lower classes. (On this see "Wanted a Substitute," no. 1863-13). Although not an enthusiast of President Lincoln's war policies, Seymour actually rushed to the scene of the riots and tried to restore order.

Here Seymour stands on the City Hall steps, addressing a motley crowd of armed rioters, most of them Irish. In the foreground one rioter holds the head of a black man in a noose, while three other black men hang from a tree in the background. (In reality, the rioters sacked and looted a Negro orphan asylum and hanged black men from lampposts.) Behind Seymour stand three men, including (left to right) a fool (no doubt a newspaper editor) wearing a cap labeled "Express," former mayor Fernando Wood (whose top hat fails to conceal a pair of devil's horns), and a man resembling Tammany boss Peter B. Sweeny, with a hat tagged "4-11-44."

Below the scene is the dialogue:

A Friendly Voice: "Governor, we want you to stay here."

Horatio Seymour: "I am going to stay here, {grave}My Friends'"

Second Rioter: "Faith and the Governor will stay with us."

Horatio Seymour: "I am your {grave}friend;" and the {grave}friend' of your families."

Third Rioter: "Arrah, Jemmy, and who said he cared about the {grave}Dirty Nagurs'?"

Fourth Rioter: "How about the draft Saymere?"

Governor: "I have ordered the president to stop the draft!"

Chorus: "Be jabes, he's a 'broth of a boy."

Weitenkampf, probably correctly, attributes the drawing for the print to Henry L. Stephens. It may have been published in connection with the New York "Tribune," whose building is prominent in the background. The "Tribune's" editor, Horace Greeley, was among Seymour's most vocal critics.

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