Draft wheel and cards, ca. 1863. Collection New-York Historical Society. Gift of Frederic C. Wagner
Draft Wheel

The "wheel of misfortune," as it was called by the anti-Lincoln Daily News, was designated for use in the 7th Congressional District (the Lower East Side). Very few men were actually drafted from New York after the draft riots, however, and this wheel was never used. The only known draft wheel to survive the riots, it still contained 3,500 cards when it was donated to the New-York Historical Society in 1865. The names of black men were included in the lottery pool, since the second conscription act of 1864 made black males eligible for the draft.