True Gangs of New York
March 1, 2005 10:25 PM   Subscribe

A history of early New York gangs, a tale of one of it most brutal participants, Monk Eastman who turned out to be a war hero and a brief overview of "gonge" (gang) history.
posted by KevinSkomsvold (10 comments total)
The first link contains a lot of new clippings from that time period such as this gem:

From the New York Sun, Wednesday Morning, June 24, 1835.
Cannibalism – Too much Lip. – We understand a scuffle took place in our streets on Saturday last between Messrs. George Shirts and Silas B. Woolcutt in which the latter gentleman came out minus one lip. In consequence of this calamity we fear he will not be able to give quite as much lip in our streets hereafter as has been his custom. And although Mr. Shirts may have acquired a superabundance of lip by the operation, he certainly cannot be justified in adopting this method of shirting an opponent, or abating a misstep, and may possibly find himself minus his liberty of operating beyond the walls of a certain ugly tenement, belong to the people, where something more than lip service will be required of him.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:29 PM on March 1, 2005

How about Mock Duck and the Hip Sing Tong? They were around those parts.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:22 PM on March 1, 2005

What this vaguely reminds me of is Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale. There's some pretty spectacular New York gang warfare going on there among other things.
posted by azazello at 11:47 PM on March 1, 2005

I know this is kind of off topic but if you want to read a fantastic account of South African prison gangs, which have a hierarchy and origin that has to be read to be believed, then check out The Number by Jonny Steinberg.
posted by PenDevil at 12:00 AM on March 2, 2005

That's an era that has always fascinated me, thanks for this.
posted by cedar at 4:41 AM on March 2, 2005

Thanks Smedleyman. Mock Duck and Hip Sing Tong.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:46 AM on March 2, 2005

Kevin, if you enjoyed that article, you'd absolutely love Low Life by Luc Sante.
posted by jonmc at 7:12 AM on March 2, 2005

i actually am in the middle of reading the book "gangs Of New York". fascinating in its own right, because it was written in 1935 and as opposed to now the events of 1860's didnt seem that far away.
also its incredible how much Martin Scorsese took directly from that book.
posted by ShawnString at 8:04 AM on March 2, 2005

More incredible is how much he *didn't* take from the book and should have.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:54 AM on March 2, 2005

I sort of thought that first article was on par with a high school book report. And something about it made me feel like the author assumed you had seen the Scorsese picture.
posted by crunchland at 11:21 AM on March 2, 2005

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