Gallus Mag

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gallus Mag
ResidenceWater Street, Manhattan, New York City
NationalityBritish American
OccupationBar bouncer
Known forFemale bouncer in 19th century Manhattan, Five Points personality, appears in The Gangs of New York

Gallus Mag (real name unknown) was a 6-foot-plus tall, female bouncer at a 19th century New York City bar called The Hole in the Wall, who figures prominently in New York City folklore. The name "Gallus"[1] originated from the men's suspenders she was fond of wearing, and "Mag" or "Meg" was likely her forename.[2] The Hole in the Wall bar was at 279 Water Street, Manhattan, more recently the site of the historic Bridge Cafe.

Bar bouncer[edit]

Herbert Asbury's book The Gangs of New York thus described her:

"It was her custom, after she'd felled an obstreperous customer with her club, to clutch his ear between her teeth and so drag him to the door, amid the frenzied cheers of the onlookers. If her victim protested she bit his ear off, and having cast the fellow into the street she carefully deposited the detached member in a jar of alcohol behind the bar…. She was one of the most feared denizens on the waterfront and the police of the period shudderingly described her as the most savage female they'd ever encountered."[3]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "gallus". Wiktionary. Retrieved 2017-06-07.
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed December 25, 2016.
  3. ^ Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928; ISBN 978-1-56025-275-7
  4. ^ "River Thieves". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, NY. 1874-01-20. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  5. ^ "Will the Real Gallus Mag, or Meg, Stand Up? No Biting, Please - Old Salt BlogOld Salt Blog". 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2016-12-25.
  6. ^ Estep, Maggie (2001-03-01). "The Gangs of New York". New York Press. Archived from the original on 2004-01-07. Retrieved 2016-12-25.