1 It appears that
not long since Engine Company No. 44 made an attack upon
the members of Engine Company No. 18, took their
apparatus away from them, and inflicted severe injury
upon several of the men. In retaliation Engine Company
No. 18 raised a strong force, and having armed
themselves with fire arms, stones, clubs, brick-bats,
and other weapons, they quietly proceeded to the
head-quarters of "Forty-four," and commenced
an attack on the building with a shower of
paving-stones, at the time the members of the later
company were in the engine-house.
As they made an effort to make their escape into the
street, shot after shot was fired at them with pistols,
but as far as we could learn, no one received any wounds
by these shots. The Police of the Eleventh Ward were
soon at the scene of riot, and with the assistance of a
force from the Thirteenth District, the rioters were
dispersed, and some of the leaders were taken into
custody. The parties arrested were taken before Justice
Welsh, at the Essex Market Police Court, where they gave
the names of Bernard Karman, Dennis Holland, John
Heffman, and Philip Teal. Fortunately no person lost his
life in this affray.
In the following communication to the Mayor, from
Captain Squires of the Eleventh Ward Police, will be
found suggestions worthy of the City authorities
To Hon. Jacob A. Westervelt:
Sir: It becomes my duty this morning to bring to your
notice the conduct of Fire Companies Nos. 18 and 44, and
to invoke such decisive action as the importance of the
case demands. I know nothing of the particulars of the
feud between the two companies, but that their conduct
is disgraceful to the Fire Department and the City, and
the present state of things dangerous to the public
peace, is very certain. A few sights ago, Company No.
44, or a portion of them, attacked NO. 18, near the
corner of Houston street and Avenue C. pelted them with
stones, brickbats and other missiles, and then took
their engine, dragged it to the foot of Third street,
with the supposed intent of throwing it off the dock,
but getting fast among the timbers, they broke off the
tongue, and then abandoned it.
Last night, about 8 o'clock, while returning from the
alarm of fire, Engine Company No. 44 was observed to put
their machine in the house in good order the entire
reserved force under my command following in close
proximity, to quell any disturbance that might arise.
Supposing all was right in that quarter, I then repaired
with my men to Pitt-street, where Engine Company No. 18
was expected to pass, for the purpose of protecting them
on their return to their head-quarters, near the head of
Avenue C. Instead of this, however they left their usual
route, and went down Columbia street to Houston-street,
passing the Engine-house of No. 44. When opposite the
house, a volley of stones were showered at the house and
fire-arms were repeatedly discharged at the members of
The force who were stationed in Avenue C heard the
firing, and hastened to the spot, but most of the
assailants had fled, and sought refuge in their
engine-house, to the number of more than 200. The
excitement is now intense and both parties are armed
with deadly weapons, and fully prepared for a conflict
whenever an alarm of fire is given. Unless there is
prompt interposition on the part of the City authorities
there is no foreseeing the fearful consequences. A
sacrifice of human life is morally certain and as in
most cases, the innocent will be as likely to suffer as
the guilty. That No. 18 should be immediately disbanded,
is my decided opinion, and if both engines were taken
until an investigation could be had, it would probably
be the better way. Something at all events should be
done without delay. Lieutenant Sharp, with a platoon of
men from the Thirteenth-Ward were promptly on hand, and
rendered efficient service.
2 The Angel Gabriel
Many will recall the scenes of the Angel Gabriel riot. Street preaching had become quite common in Brooklyn, and had been the cause of considerable discussions. It was announced that on Sunday, June 4, 1854, a Methodist street preacher would hold open air services, at six o'clock P.M., on the corner of Smith and Atlantic streets. Mayor Lambert and his aids
attended the services, which passed quietly.
During their continuance, however two thousand persons, accompanied by the police, crossed the Catharine Ferry to attend the services on the corner of Main and Front streets. The procession was loudly hissed from the sidewalk by a large number of Irishmen. At the junction of Main and Fulton streets, stones and missiles were thrown down from the windows and roofs of the houses, injuring many persons.
The fight became general. Stones, pistols, clubs and sling shots were freely used, and the scenes that followed will never be forgotten. Women ran from the houses armed with brooms and sticks. Men lay bleeding in the street. When a portion of the Fourteenth Regiment, with Colonel Jesse C. Smith, arrived, it aided the police in making a number of arrests.
Sixty persons were locked up. Of the casualties published the next day, there were: one boy killed, name unknown; one man, on Fulton avenue, thigh broken: one man, three fingers cut off: a man named Whaley; skull broken; a boy of James street, cheek taken off: a man of 11 Pearl street, ball in the leg; Chief of Police, confusion in the head; Officers Frost, Curran and others, severe injuries; James McGrath, knee pan broken; and many others.
The military on duty were the City Grenadiers, Captain Burnett the National Guard, Lieutenant Mallory; the Franklin Guard, Captain Baldwin; the Steuben Guard, Captain Shepper. Though of short duration the Angel Gabriel riot for real ferocity probably exceeded any other of the riots of Brooklyn.