You may not know it, but street gangs have been around for a long, long time. They were even the central theme of Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.
While the main gang featured in that film was called The Dead Rabbits (which is an awesome name), they were hardly the only ones running the streets at the time. As a matter of fact, there were plenty of 19th-century gangs with colorful names, many of whom operated in New York’s notorious Five Points neighborhood.
Here are 10 that roamed the streets many years ago.
1. Crazy Butch Gang
A gang of teen pickpockets.
2. Molasses Gang
These boys used to bet a shopkeeper he wouldn’t fill up a hat with molasses. When the poor fool did, they’d slap the hat on his head and take all his money.
3. Tub of Blood Bunch
This gang made the Tub of Blood bar their headquarters and they worked the East River waterfront.
4. Yakey Yakes
The leader was called him “Yake” (mistaken for “Jake”) by a German immigrant and the name stuck.
5. Plug Uglies
The Plug Uglies were active in New York City and Baltimore and played a prominent role in the 1863 Draft Riots in New York.
Made up of Irishmen from County Kerry.
7. Boodle Gang
They were known to hijack wagons and raid food stores.
8. Corcoran’s Roosters
This crew was known to rob cargo ships. Also known as the Charlton Street Gang.
9. Daybreak Boys
Possibly the coolest name ever for a gang. Like many other gangs of this time period, they worked the waterfront in New York.
10. Baxter Street Dudes
This gang of thieves consisted of teenagers who formerly worked as newsboys or shoe shiners. They also ran a theater where they performed. You could say they were multi-talented.