Broad Street Riot
The Broad Street Riot occurred in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on June 11, 1837. The riot began when a company of Yankee firefighters met with an Irish funeral procession on Broad Street. Fire Engine Company 20 was returning from a fire in Roxbury. Many of the firefighters went to a saloon nearby. Afterwards, while traveling back to the fire station, George Fay either insulted o
r shoved members of a passing Irish funeral procession. The Irish and firemen began to fight, but under the orders of W.W. Miller, the firemen ran to the station. Miller sounded the emergency alarm, calling all of the fire engines in Boston. Although many of the Irish had left the scene, the fire companies continued to come as called. As the fight continued, local Yankees and Irishmen joined the row. Eventually 1000 people were included in the melee, though no one was killed. Several houses were broken into and vandalized, and the rioters launched rocks and other missiles at each other. The fight was broken up when Mayor Samuel A. Eliot commanded 10 companies from the military to patrol the neighborhoods surrounding Broad Street.
On June 15, 17 people were forced to pay reparations of three hundred dollars, and to attend the nearest term at the Municipal Court. Mark Adams was held to bail, as witnesses reported him for breaking into homes. Fourteen Irish and four protestant men that had participated in the riot were put on trial. Only three of the Irish men, John Whaley, John Welsh, and Barney Fanning were assigned hard labor in the House of Correction. John Whaley was sentenced four months, while John Welsh and Barney Fanning were sentenced two months. All four of the Protestants were found innocent.
The following Monday, June 18, military forces were located outside of the armories. When engines returned from duty, hissing and hooting was heard. Many people attempted to start brawls throughout the day, however none were successful. The Broad Street Riot is still considered the worst riot of Boston’s history.
On January 6, 2012 Barney Fanning’s Pub was opened for business!!!