Sunday, December 05, 2010

How's this for irony?

Did you know that the first recorded purchase of a machine gun (OK, it was a Gatling gun, which is technically not a machine gun) by a private citizen was made by H.J. Raymond, proprietor of a newspaper, our of fear that rioters would attack his offices due to his supporting the Conscription Act of 1863? That newspaper was none other than the New York Times, one of the most virulently anti-gun papers in print today. Mr. Raymond bought three of them, which he installed in his building during the riots.

An interesting story exists about Gatling guns being used to defend the New York Times building during the Draft Riots of July 13-16, 1863, during which the mob of 50,000 people caused 1,000 deaths and $2,000,000 in property damage.

“While others cowered in fear of mob violence, Henry Jarvis Raymond, editor of the New York Times and a prominent Republican politician, was prepared to fight. Daily, he blasted the mob in flaming editorials in the Times. Brightly illuminated by night, its plate glass windows gleaming a challenge to the mob, the imposing Times Building, an arrogant symbol of wealth, seemed to dare the rioters to attack. Raymond, who advised ‘Give them grape (shot), and plenty of it.’ was quite ready to do so. Inside the two northern windows, commanding the most likely avenues of attack were mounted Gatling Guns, manned by Raymond himself and Leonard Walter Jerome, a major stockholder of the New York Times (and future grandfather of Winston Churchill). A third Gatling was on the roof of the building, in position to sweep the streets below. The entire staff of the newspaper had been equipped with rifles and stood ready for the attack that might have come at any moment. The Times was waited for the mob-Messrs. Raymond and Jerome probably would have like nothing better than a chance to play Gatling music for the rioters’ edification-but the attack never came. Learning that the Timesmen were well armed, the mob directed its attentions elsewhere. As it was to do many times in future years, the Gatling Gun had served well-without firing a shot.”
Yay for the gun as a peacemaker and a life-and-property saver, but perhaps America might be a bit better off today had the New York Times been burned to the ground back in 1863.

I'm just saying...

6 comments:

  1. It does make one wonder, doesn't it... But then they were hard chargers, making things happen themselves, today the money 'men' are behind the scenes, not in public view, and do everything they can to hide their actions...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Any word on what happened to the Gatlings after the war?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Heh. Maybe you should send them a link to your post!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thus proving the old adage "Peace through superior firepower"

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just like Abercrombi and Fitch, use to sell shotguns, but now support anti-gun groups.

    This is why liberals and progressives bring smiles to my face, for their irony is abundent and obvious. While logic eludes them daily.

    ReplyDelete