The REAL ‘Gangs of New York’: A Virtual Talk with Justin Ferate

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

6:00 p.m.7:30 p.m.

The New York Draft Riots were the bloodiest and most violent urban insurrection of 19th century America. Join acclaimed NYC tour guide & historian Justin Ferate to discover the true story behind one of the most critical moments in the country’s history. (Spoiler alert: Not Martin Scorsese’s 2002 film, Gangs of New York.) We’ll examine the social pressures and misguided public policies that led to the powder keg that exploded in the streets of New York in July 1863. The truth turns out to be far more compelling than fiction – and bears great witness to the events of today and, once the facts are known, becomes unforgettable.

In 2021, July 13 was proclaimed Black Vision Day, a time “to imagine what a Black future in New York looks like in the centuries to come.” It was on July 13, 1863, that the Draft Riots began: “four days of some of the bloodiest and most destructive rioting in United States history began,” largely targeting the Black community.

Justin Ferate was honored by New York State Governor George Pataki and the New York State Tourism Council as New York’s “Most Engaging Tour Guide.” Mr. Ferate also wrote the official New York City Professional Tour Guide Licensing Examination for the City of New York. Time Out New York selected Mr. Ferate as “One of New York’s 50 Essential Secrets!”


All proceeds from this Virtual Benefit Talk support the Legal Fund in our fight to protect the Merchant’s House from development next door.



$25, $15 MHM Members


This is a virtual event, via Zoom. Attendees will receive a Zoom confirmation within 15 minutes of registering, and a reminder email one hour before the talk.

Event Organizer

Merchant's House Museum,

Contact Number

(212) 777-1089

Contact Email


Education, History, Talks, Virtual/Online Events

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