The New International Encyclopædia/Astor Place Riot, The
ASTOR PLACE RI′OT, The. In American history, a riot which occurred in Astor Place, New York City, on the evening of May 10, 1849, and which grew out of an attempt by partisans of the American actor Edwin Forrest (q.v.). assisted by the rabid anti-English element of the lower classes in the city, to prevent the English actor William C. Macready (q.v.) from giving a performance of Macbeth in the Astor Place Opera House. A disorderly crowd assembled in Astor Place early in the evening, and soon after the performance began, fiercely attacked the opera house and endeavored to force their way inside. The police proving unable to disperse the mob, the Seventh Regiment was called out; and before order could be restored, 34 of the rioters had been killed and many more wounded, while 141 of the militiamen had been more or less seriously injured by brickbats and stones. After the performance, Macready was taken to a private house, and two days later proceeded secretly to Boston, where he took ship for England. Consult: Wilson, Memorial History of New York, Vol III. (4 vols., New York, 1892-93), and Barrett, Edwin Forrest (Boston, 1882).