Early Characters

“Old” Jimmy Hope – Master Bank Robber

James Hope was born in Philadelphia to Irish parents in 1836, the family were poor and Jimmy took a job as a machinist when he was a teenager. He married young and had a family but Jimmy Hope would soon find himself attracted to a life of crime. He would go on to...

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John Allen – The Wickedest Man in New York

John Allen, also known as E.E. Van Allen or "The Allen" was a notorious underworld gangster and who owned a saloon on Water Street in early New York. Born in Syracuse in New York to well to do & deeply religious parents in 1823, he was one of nine children. Two of...

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Big Jim O’Leary Chicago’s Big Time Gambler

"Big" Jim O'Leary was a gambler & racketeer in early Chicago, he is credited in forming one of the cities first gambling syndicates and for having a rags to riches story. James O'Leary was born to parents Patrick and Katherine O'Leary. Katherine O'Leary is rumored...

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Little Patsy Doyle & the Hudson Dusters

William "Little Patsy Doyle" Moore was the leader of the Hudson Dusters gang in the 1910's and he was killed at the end of a war between his Hudson Dusters gang and Owney Madden's Gopher Gang. The Hudson Dusters were a street gang that were founded in the late 1890s...

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Johnny “The Mick” Walsh

John Walsh or "Johnny The Mick" was a criminal and gangster in early New York, 1852 - 1883. He was leader of the gang The Walshers which he founded in the 1870's and with their shakedowns and violence they were dominant around the Bowery in Lower Manhattan. This was a...

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Billy McGlory’s Armory Hall

Billy McGlory opened McGlory's Armory Hall at 158 Hester Street in the late 1870s. It very quickly became a popular underworld hangout, frequented by thieves, pickpockets, and procurers throughout the old Fourth and Sixth Wards for nearly two decades.It was described...

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