Chichesters

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Chichesters
Chichesters Gang July 11 1835 Newspaper Article I.jpg
The "Chichester Gang" described in a July 11, 1835 newspaper column from the New-York Commercial Advertiser
Founded by John Chichester
Founding location Five Points, Manhattan, New York City
Years active 1820s-1860s
Territory Five Points, Manhattan, New York City
Ethnicity Irish-American
Membership (est.) 50-100
Criminal activities street fighting, knife fighting assault, murder, robbery, gambling, arson, rioting
Allies Dead Rabbits, Tammany Hall
Rivals Bowery Boys
George Catlin painting of the Five Points, Manhattan, New York City in 1827 the slum territory of the "Chichesters" and the other Irish criminal gangs


The Chichesters also known as the Chichester Gang along with the Forty Thieves, Shirt Tails, and Kerryonians, were one of the oldest early 19th century Irish Five Points street gang during the mid 19th century in New York City. The Chichester Gang was organized by its founder John Chichester. The gang got their start by stealing from stores and warehouses and selling the stolen goods to local fences in the 1820s and later became involved in illegal gambling and robbery. Notable Chichester gang members were Thomas Reeves, Frederick McKinney, Felix Hayden, George Rice, and George Thomas. An ally of the Dead Rabbits against the Bowery Boys, the Chichesters maintained between 50-100 gang members lasting for more than 50 years before being absorbed by the Whyos, much like many of the early gangs, following the American Civil War in 1865.

References[edit]

  • Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the New York Underworld, New York, 1928.
  • Mohl, Raymond A. The Making of Urban America. Rowman & Littlefield, 1997.
  • Prime, Samuel. Life in New York. New York, 1847.
  • Smith, Barbara. Radical History Review Volume 52. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Trumbull, Jonathan and Nancy F. Cott. Prostitution: Volume 9 of History of women in the United States. Walter de Gruyter, 1993.
  • Wilentz, Sean. Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850. Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • New-York Commercial Advertiser July 11, 1835.
  • New York Herald 1835-1836.