Damn the ultraviolent 19th century gangs. Right now we’re slowly working our way through Luc Sante‘s Low Life. If you haven’t read this book, please do: It’s the most addictive chunk of New York stories we’ve ever come across. But what caught our eye was this New York Times correction from July 6, 1857 that was reprinted in Low Life. After covering the largest gang fight in New York’s history, the Times published the following:
We are requested by the Dead Rabbits to state that the Dead Rabbit club members are not thieves, that they did not participate in the riot with the Bowery Boys, and that the fight in Mulberry street was between the Roach Guards of Mulberry street and the Atlantic Guards of the Bowery. The Dead Rabbits are sensitive on points of honor, we are assured, and wouldn’t allow a thief to live on their beat, much less be a member of the club.
Man. So that’s the whole thing, dating back to an era of blatant political corruption and massive gang fights in the streets of New York. Hey, if we were the Times, we’d be afraid of our offices being burned down too.