This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Shirt Tails

Shirt Tails
Five Points - George Catlin - 1827.jpg
George Catlin painting of the Five Points, Manhattan, New York City in 1827 the slum territory of the "Shirt Tails" and the other Irish criminal gangs
Founding locationFive Points, Manhattan, New York City
Years active1830s-1860s
TerritoryLower East Side, Manhattan, New York City
EthnicityIrish American
Membership (est.)?
Criminal activitiesstreet fighting, knife fighting, assault, murder, robbery
AlliesForty Thieves, Roach Guards, Tammany Hall Chichesters, Dead Rabbits,
RivalsBowery Boys, Atlantic Guards
The Shirt Tails wore their wore their shirts on the outside of their pants as 19th-century Chinese laborers would dress as a form of insignia and as a sign of gang group affiliation.

The Shirt Tails were a mid-19th-century street gang based in the Five Points slum in Manhattan, New York, United States, who wore their shirts on the outside of their pants as 19th-century Chinese laborers would dress as a form of insignia and as a sign of gang group affiliation. Members kept their weapons—as many as three or four at a time—concealed beneath their shirts; this discreet measure stands in contrast to competing gangs who flaunted their weapons in order to intimidate.[citation needed]

Never numbering more than a few hundred members, the Shirt Tails, like many other gangs, disappeared shortly before the American Civil War (although they did participate in a coalition of gangs under the Dead Rabbits and fought against the Bowery Boys during the New York Draft Riots), with its remaining members dissipating or joining other Irish gangs.

References

  • Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York. New York: Alfred A. Knoff Inc., 1927. ISBN 1-56025-275-8