Detroit race riot of 1863

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The Detroit race riot of 1863 occurred during the American Civil War on March 6, 1863, in the city of Detroit, Michigan. At the time, it was reported as "the bloodiest day that ever dawned upon Detroit." It began due to unrest related to racism and the military draft.[1]

While not as famous or destructive as riots later in Detroit’s history, the riot of 1863 was certainly a momentous occasion for the city of Detroit.[2] The casualties of the day included at least two innocent people dead, a multitude of others, mostly African-American, mercilessly beaten. 35 buildings were burned to the ground, and a number of other buildings were damaged by fire.[2]

The riot resulted in the creation of a full-time police force for Detroit.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Detroit Free Press, March 7, 1863
  2. ^ a b Kundinger, Matthew (2006). "Racial Rhetoric: The Detroit Free Press and Its Part in the Detroit Race Riot of 1863" (PDF). University of Michigan. Retrieved 2011-02-24. 
  3. ^ Willis Frederick Dunbar; George S. May (July 1995). Michigan: a history of the Wolverine State. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-8028-7055-1. Retrieved 24 February 2011. 

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