New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Bowery Boys
This address once hosted the headquarters of the Bowery Boys, a mid-nineteenth century nativist gang popularized in the book and fictional Martin Scorsese film, Gangs of New York. This coterie of American-born, anti-immigrant firefighting brawlers often violently exerted their perceived sovereignty over newcomers during one of the most lawless and corrupt eras in New York City history.
By the 1850s, the primary targets of the Bowery Boys’ resentment were the newly-arrived Irish laborers of the neighboring Five Points district. Shortly after midnight on July 4, 1857, this location was attacked by a coalition of Five Points gangs, including the Irish Dead Rabbits gang, which sparked a fierce two day battle between rival factions. In the end, eight rioters were killed and dozens injured.
Note; While popular culture emphasizes the gang violence and thuggery, most early gangs, especially immigrant gangs, were initially created in part to promote their community’s interests or to provide services, like firefighting, not yet supplied by the city.
-Eric Ferrera, author of The Bowery and founder of Lower East Side history
Erected 2016 by Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
Location. 40° 42.93′ N, 73° 59.805′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery near Bayard Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 40 Bowery, New York NY 10013, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Bowery Theatre (within shouting distance of this marker); Stephen Foster (within shouting distance of this marker); Lost New York Gem (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington Drank Here! (within shouting distance of this marker); High and Low Art (within shouting distance of this marker); Renaissance-Inspired Bank for the Working Class (within shouting distance of this marker); Black Horse Inn (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); NYC’s Oldest Brick House (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
More about this marker. One of more than sixty entries in the “Windows on the Bowery” series.
Categories. • Notable Events •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 14, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 34 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 14, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.