18 October 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Gangs of New York

By Eliza Tucker

In New York City, the gangs of the 19th and early 20th century had some "killer" names--even though historically not all gangs were violent, and worked instead as racial, religious, or vocational unions.

1. Daybreak Boys
2. Dead Rabbits
3. Old Slippers*
4. Cherry Hill
5. Bowery Boys
6. Five Points
7. Midnight Terrors
8. Plug Uglies
9. Gophers (as well as the Lady Gophers and Little Gophers)
10. Roach Guard
11. Hudson Dusters
12. Whyos
13. Swamp Angels**

* Great name, huh? They were a bunch of angry kids--bookbinders apprentices--who made life heck for residents around the Manhattan street Old Slip, according to Luc Sante in Low Life.

** Wouldn't think about a New Yorker relating much to the swamp, eh? Consider that much of Lower Manhattan was more or less wetland and eventually drained and filled in.