|Known for||New York gang leader and underworld figure; he and Kit Burns co-led the Dead Rabbits during the 1850s.|
Thomas Hadden (fl. 1840 – 1881) was American saloon keeper, criminal and underworld figure in New York City's infamous Fourth Ward during the mid-to late 19th century. He was the owner of a Cherry Street dive bar, a popular underworld hangout located next to Dan Kerrigan's place, and co-led the Dead Rabbits with Kit Burns. For over 25 years, his Water Street boarding house was one of the most notorious "crimp houses" on the New York waterfront as thousands of sailors were shanghaied, robbed or murdered. Hadden, and contemporaries such as Bill Slocum or John Allen, exercised considerable political influence in the city and were generally able to receive protection from city officials throughout their criminal careers.
Tommy Hadden first came to prominence in New York's underworld as a Paradise Square street tough and brawler who eventually became leader of the Dead Rabbits, among other early Five Points gangs, with Kit Burns in the 1840s. As they grew older, however, they eventually moved to the Fourth Ward where they established popular dive bars and other businesses on the city's waterfront. Hadden opened a popular dive bar at No. 10½ Cherry Street, next door to a similar establishment run by pugilist Dan Kerrigan, frequented by many underworld figures throughout its existence. He also owned a sailor's home on Water Street which would eventually become known as the district's most notorious crimp house.Both he and Burns frequently returned to the Five Points to lead the Dead Rabbits on forays well into the 1850s and early 1860s.
Hadden and Burns, like many underworld figures of the period, were able to gain influence in New York City Hall and his political connections were able to protect him from his shanghaiing activities. His involvement with the Dead Rabbits, however, would occasionally result in his arrest for fighting and other violent offences. The most serious of these occurred in 1852 when Hadden committed a violent street mugging that resulted in the death of a man named Kehoe. On the night in question, Hadden and two others lured Kehoe into a dark alley off Liberty Street whereupon the gang leader approached his victim from behind and "buried a slungshot into his brain". Hadden and his accomplices stole the gold that Kehoe was carrying and escaped. Kehoe was eventually found, still alive, and carried to a nearby friend's house on Fourth Avenue where he died of his injuries a few hours later.
Hadden was brought to trial, and although two of his henchmen were convicted, Hadden himself won acquittal despite being subject to the same evidence. He often was able to avoid conviction in Police Courts and only once appeared before General Sessions.At this particular trial, he was sentenced to a long term in the state prison but never served his sentence and a few days after the trial "was again in his old den plying his nefarious vocation". In his criminal career, he served only two short terms in the New York State Prison.
Hadden was one of several underworld figures involved in the so-called "Water Street Revival" when John Allen, a saloon-keeper known as the "Wickedest Man in New York", became the subject of a public crusade headed by lawyer and journalist Oliver Dyer. After the close of Allen's saloon in 1868, it was claimed by A.C. Arnold and other ministers that Hadden and others had "reformed" their criminal ways and had turned over there establishments so that religious sermons could be held. On September 11, 1868, Hadden consented to a prayer meeting to be held in his Water Street boarding house. No such services were held in his more infamous Cherry Street resort. Neither did he or his fellow saloon keepers attend services at the Howard Mission though they did allowed themselves to be mentioned in the congregation's prayers. It was eventually revealed in an exposé by the New York Times that Hadden and others had accepted money from religious leaders to rent their establishments to them.The newspaper specifically charged Hadden with "playing the pious with the hope of being secured from trial before the Court of General Sessions for having recently shanghaied a Brooklynite, and also in consideration of a handsome moneyed arrangement with his employers".
In June 1870, Hadden was arrested for grand larceny in New Jersey and sentenced to 10 years imprisonmentin New Jersey State Prison. His conviction was celebrated in both New Jersey and New York. The New York Times was especially critical of the city officials who had seemingly ignored his long criminal history. After his release, he returned to the New York waterfront to work as a bootblack or "wharf-rat". In 1881, according to union leader Michael Lee, Hadden was working on the steamship City of Alexandria.
William Jones was an American criminal and member of the Gas House Gang. He was one of the New York City's more notorious career criminals to be arrested and convicted during the New York Police Department's four-year campaign against Manhattan's street gangs and other underworld figures between 1910 and 1914.
Richard Joseph "Peg Leg" Lonergan was an American underworld figure and labor racketeer. He was a high-ranking member and the final leader of the White Hand Gang. He succeeded Bill Lovett after his murder in 1923 and, under his leadership, led a two-year campaign against Frankie Yale over the New York waterfront until he and five of his lieutenants were killed in South Brooklyn during a Christmas Day celebration at the Adonis Social Club in 1925.
Mallet Murphy was the pseudonym of a popular American saloon keeper and underworld figure in Hell's Kitchen, New York during the late 1890s up until the start of the 20th century. His particular nickname was attributed to his use of a wooden mallet as a weapon against unruly customers and for defending his bar against criminals. His Battle Row saloon, located at Thirty-Ninth Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenue, was used as the headquarters of the Gopher Gang during their early years.
The Bowe Brothers were a criminal family in New York City during the early-to-mid-19th century. The gang was headed by Martin Bowe, owner of the Catherine Slip sailors' home Glass House, and included Jack, Jim and Bill Bowe. All were well-known shooters, cutters and thieves in New York's Fourth Ward and often led waterfront thugs in raids on dockyards and ships anchored in the East River. The brothers were also fences and disposed of money obtained by other waterfront gangs.
Theodore Allen, or known simply as The Allen, was an American gambler, political organizer, saloon keeper and head of a criminal family in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century. Born to a devout and prominent Methodist family, he and four of his brothers were notorious underworld figures; Wesley, Martin and William Allen were professional burglars while the fourth brother, John Allen, ran an illegal gambling den.
Charles P. Miller was an American gambler, confidence man and swindler. He was popularly known as "King of the Bunco Men", at times sharing that title with fellow tricksters Tom O'Brien and Joseph "Hungry Joe" Lewis, and ran one of the largest banco operations in the United States during the late 19th century.
Tom O'Brien was an American confidence man and swindler during the late 19th century. He was popularly known as "King of the Banco Men", along with other prominent tricksters such as Joseph "Hungry Joe" Lewis and Charles P. Miller, and organized countless banco and confidence schemes throughout the United States, especially in New Orleans, Chicago and New York, as well as in Europe. He often partnered with a number of confidence and banco men such as Lon Ludlam, Red Adams, Frank Smith, Pete Carlisle, Ed Ray, Red Austin, Charley Hinnell, "Hungry Joe" Lewis and Reed Waddell. He later shot and killed Waddell in an argument over money following a scheme they had run in Paris, France.
Michael "Sheeny Mike" Kurtz was an American burglar and gang leader in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century. He was one of the co-founders of the Dutch Mob, along with Little Freddie and Johnny Irving, during the 1870s. Kurtz and the others controlled the area between Houston and 5th Streets for several years until the gang was driven out by "strong-arm squads" under Captain Anthony Allaire in 1876. A year later he was arrested in Boston for robbing a silk house owned by Scott & Co. and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. It was while in prison that he discovered that eating common soap could produce the effect of ill health. His sudden and unexplainable weight loss and other symptoms baffled the prison doctors and he was able to fool officials that he was dying and received a pardon.
Tom Flaherty, more commonly known under his pseudonym Old Flaherty, was an American criminal, sneak thief and river pirate in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century. He was the patriarch of a criminal family in New York's Seventh Ward which terrorized the New York waterfront in the post-American Civil War era. Flaherty was described as having "long white whiskers and a benevolent smile, but he was one of the most cruel thugs of the Seventh Ward".
Peter Sawyer was an American thief and robber in New York City during the 1860s. A native of California, Sawyer appeared in New York's Forth Ward and the waterfront in the years following the American Civil War. He is credited as being the first criminal to drug victims for the purposes of mugging them. Although sailors' homes and crimp houses had previously been using "knock-out drops" and "slipping mickeys" to shanghai sailors, Sawyer was the first to make effective use for armed robbery. At first, Sawyer used simple snuff which he dropped into the victim's alcohol but perfected the practice later on with chloral hydrate. This was the drug of choice, with exception to the occasional use of morphine, preferred by those who followed Sawyer in similar robberies. Indeed, the practice became so common in the city that these men were referred to as "Peter Players" by the police and underworld alike.
John or James "Yakey Yake" Brady was an American criminal, the founder and leader of the Yakey Yakes, an independent street gang based in Manhattan, New York at the turn of the 20th century. Under his leadership, the gang, which had its base around the Brooklyn Bridge, operated freely within the territory of the Eastman Gang and successfully fought off attempts by both the Eastmans and the Five Points Gang to absorb the Yakey Yakes into either organization. Only following Brady's death from tuberculosis did the gang finally disappear.
John Allen (1823–1870) was an American saloon keeper and underworld figure in New York City during the early-to mid-19th century. A former religious student, Allen was considered one of the most notorious criminals in the city and was known as the "Wickedest Man in New York". A public crusade against him, headed by lawyer and journalist Oliver Dyer, resulted in a reform movement known as the "Water Street revival".
Christopher Keyburn, commonly known by his alias Kit Burns, was an American sportsman, saloon keeper and underworld figure in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century, he and Tommy Hadden being the last-known leaders of the Dead Rabbits during the 1850s and 60s.
Boiled (Biled) Oysters Malloy was the pseudonym of an American saloon keeper, thief and underworld figure in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century. He was especially known in The Bowery where he ran a popular basement bar and underworld hangout, located on Centre Street near the Tombs, known as The Ruins where "three drops of terrible whiskey were sold for a dime". His establishment was one of several owned by popular Bowery characters, most notably Mush Riley, whose dive bar was located just a few doors away from The Ruins. Malloy's nickname was derived from "his love of boiled oysters", and, according to Frank Moss in The American Metropolis from Knickerbocker Days to the Present Time (1897), when his mother commented on his diamonds and fine clothes would respond "Arrah, mother, I've struck it. I'm living on biled oysters."
The Hole-in-the-Wall was a popular saloon and underworld hangout in what is now the South Street Seaport, Manhattan, New York City during the early- to mid-19th century. It has been described as the "most notorious" saloon in New York city during the 19th century. It was one of many dive bars and similar establishments in New York's infamous Fourth Ward, located at the corner of Water and Dover Streets. The saloon was owned by "One Armed" Charley Monell and featured notorious female criminals Kate Flannery and Gallus Mag as bouncers. Both women were employed by Monell as lieutenants in his local criminal organization, which included shanghaiing, and the latter woman supposedly kept a collection of human ears which she had bitten off from unruly customers in bar brawls. She displayed these as trophies on the bar in pickle jars. Sadie the Goat, the later leader of the Charlton Street Gang, was of the many victims who lost her ear in a brawl with Gallus Mag.
Tom Bray was an American saloon keeper and underworld figure in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century. He was the owner of a downtown Manhattan dive bar, "Tom Bray's", located on Thompson Street, and which served as an underworld hangout for thieves and bank robbers. The saloon, according to author Frank Moss, was known for its violence as "several men were killed there and a number were badly cut and shot" during its forty years in operation.
Harry Lazarus was an English-born American pugilist, saloon keeper, thief and underworld figure in New York City during the 1850s and early 1860s. He is sometimes confused with his father, famed pugilist Israel "London Izzy" Lazarus, and was one of his three sons along with John and Izzy Lazarus, Jr. His murder by Barney Friery, and subsequent trial, in 1865 was one of the most notorious crimes in the city's history prior to the end of the American Civil War.
William O'Brien, better known as Billy Porter but also known by the alias William or Billy Morton, was an American burglar and underworld figure in New York City during the mid-to late 19th century. He and partner Johnny Irving were longtime members of the Dutch Mob along with Little Freddie and Michael "Sheeny Mike" Kurtz. He was present during the 1883 gunfight at Shang Draper's saloon in which Irving was shot and killed by rival John "Johnny the Mick" Walsh. O'Brien then killed Walsh and was himself gunned down by Shang Draper. Although surviving his wounds, he was tried for, and acquitted of, Walsh's death.
Michael Mahoney, better known as Wreck Donovan or simply The Wreck, was a nineteenth-century American sneak thief, river pirate and underworld figure in New York City. He was a well-known criminal for hire on the New York waterfront during the post-American Civil War era and later became a member of Patsy Conroy Gang.
Oliver Dyer was an American journalist, author, teacher, lawyer and stenographer. A pioneer in phonography, he developed his own shorthand system which was the first to be adopted for use in the United States. It was used not only for courtroom testimony but also for recording political events such as the Free Soil Convention in Buffalo, New York, and sessions of the 30th United States Congress in Washington, D.C., in 1848. It was in the latter role that he became the first Congressional shorthand reporter.