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Joshua Brown

Joshua Brown directs the American Social History Project at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author of Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life and the Crisis of Gilded Age America.

The Real Gangs of New York

Joshua Brown, 23 January 2003

Under the headline ‘The Dead Rabbits Immortalised’, the New York Evening Post reported on 10 July 1857 that a one-penny song sheet was selling feverishly ‘in the lower part of the city’. Written by ‘Saugerties Bard’ and to be sung to the popular Dan Emmett minstrel tune ‘Jordan’, it began:

They had a dreadful fight upon last Saturday night, The...

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