May 8, 184411/13/2007
Armed Protestant gangs, defeated two days' running by the more accurate musket fire of the Irish Catholics they were attempting to rout from the city of Philadelphia, turned to arson as their best weapon, torching St. Michael's Church and cheering as the steeple collapsed to the ground, bringing a cross with it. Then they burned the seminary of the Sisters of Charity and ransacked homes and stores, making a bonfire of books in the street. When Mayor John M. Scott stood on the steps of St. Augustine's Catholic Church and asked the crowd to disperse, someone knocked him down with a rock to the chest, then a new fire broke out, destroying St. Augustine's within half an hour. Martial law was declared, and the three days of violence ended with the Catholics leading by sheer body count, but the Protestants starting to make an impact with their ability to loot, pillage and burn.