Filter options:

Freebase Commons Common /common

  • The Dead Rabbits Riot was a two-day civil disturbance in New York City resulting from what was originally a small-scale street fight between members of the Dead Rabbits and the Bowery Boys into a citywide gang war which lasted from July 4–5, 1857. Taking advantage of the disorganized state of the city's police force, brought about by the conflict between the Municipal and Metropolitan police, the fighting would spiral into widespread looting and damage of property by gangsters and other criminals from all parts of the city. It is estimated that between 800 and 1,000 gang members took part in the riots, along with several hundred others who used the disturbance to loot the Bowery area. It was the largest disturbance since the Astor Place Riot in 1849, and the biggest scene of gang violence, unsurpassed until the New York Draft Riots of 1863. Order was restored only by the New York State Militia, supported by detachments of city police, under Major-General Charles W. Sandford. The riot was a culmination of the gang violence between the Five Pointers and the Bowery gangs, fueled by the decade-long conflict between the Democratic-supported Tammany Hall and the nativist Know Nothing Party, dating as far back as the 1840s. It also caused serious and far-reaching political changes including the downfall of Captain Isaiah Rynders as a ward boss of the "Bloody Ould Sixth" in favor of John Morrissey. Wikipedia