Bowery Boys

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For the group of actors who made a series of films between 1946 and 1958, see The Bowery Boys.
A view of a fight between two gangs, the "Dead Rabbits" and the "Bowery Boys" in the Sixth Ward, New York City


The Bowery Boys were a nativist, anti-Catholic, and anti-Irish gang based out of the Bowery section of Manhattan in the mid-19th century and, despite their reputation as one of the most prominent gangs of 1800's New York, led law-abiding lifestyles for most of the week. The gang was made up exclusively of volunteer firemen but also worked as mechanics and butchers (the occupation of famed Bowery Boy leader William "Bill The Butcher" Poole) and would fight rival fire companies over who would extinguish a fire. While acting in capacity as a gang (and aided by other Bowery gangs) the Bowery Boys would battle against multiple outfits out of the infamous Five Points, most notably the Dead Rabbits, whom they would feud with for decades.The uniform of a Bowery Boy generally consisted of a stovepipe hat in variable condition, a red shirt, and dark trousers tucked into boots; the uniform paying homage to their roots as volunteer firemen.

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