Early Characters

The First Gang – The Forty Thieves

The Forty Thieves were formed in 1825 and said to be the first known and oldest New York City criminal street gang. At least officially they were the first ones to have an established leadership and to be caught and recorded. The Five Points was a neighborhood in the...

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Henry Bergh Shuts Down The Rat Pit

Henry Bergh was born on the Lower East Side in 1813, the Lower East Side in the 1800's had some of the most notorious neighborhoods in the world, the Five Points, Fourth Ward & the Bowery. At the time, America was not a friendly place for animals, dog fighting and...

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“Old Smoke” John Morrissey

"Old Smoke" John Morrissey was born in Templemore, County Tipperary, Ireland in 1831. Around 1833 his parents emigrated to the U.S and settled somewhere near Troy, New York. In 1848 Morrissey moved to New York City and married the daughter of a ship's captain, Sarah...

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The Gopher Gang of Hell’s Kitchen

The Gopher Gang were one of Hell’s Kitchen’s most brutal gangs. They were given the name "Gophers" because they used to hide in the cellars of buildings in the neighbourhood. The Gophers formed in the 1890s and went on to rule the West Side between Ninth and Eleventh...

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