Nineteenth-century New York City was one of the most magnificent cities in the world, but also one of the most deadly. Without any real law enforcement for almost 200 years, the city was a lawless place where the crime rate was triple what it is today and the murder rate was five or six times as high. The staggering amount of crime threatened to topple a city that was experiencing meteoric growth and striving to become one of the most spectacular in America.
For the first time, award-winning historian Bruce Chadwick examines how rampant violence led to the founding of the first professional police force in New York City. Chadwick brings readers into the bloody and violent city, where race relations and an influx of immigrants boiled over into riots, street gangs roved through town with abandon, and thousands of bars, prostitutes, and gambling emporiums clogged the streets.
The drive to establish law and order and protect the city involved some of New York’s biggest personalities, including mayor Fernando Wood, police chief Fred Tallmadge, and journalist Walt Whitman.
Law and Disorder is a must read for fans of New York history and those interested in how the first police force, untrained and untested, battled to maintain law and order.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
BRUCE CHADWICK is the author of more than twenty-five books. A noted historian, Chadwick taught at Rutgers University and New Jersey City University. He covered crime for many years as a reporter for the New York Daily News. He holds a PhD from Rutgers and he lectures on the history of crime and forensics all over the world.
Table of Contents
Author's Note xi
Chapter 1 Riot! 1
Chapter 2 The Gruesome Murder of Helen Jewett 26
Chapter 3 Extra! Extra! The Penny Press Chases Crime 41
Chapter 4 The Magnificent City and the Malignant Crime Wave 54
Chapter 5 Crime Everywhere 68
Chapter 6 Lydia Child, Grime, and Chaos 97
Chapter 7 Faith in the Constables Frays as the City Implodes 106
Chapter 8 Amateur Police Walk the Beat of a Raucous City 119
Chapter 9 Prostitution, Gambling, and Drinking: The Backbone of the Crime Surge and Downfall of the Police 133
Chapter 10 Five Points and the Boundaries of Hell 170
Chapter 11 The Brutal Murder of the Beautiful Cigar Girl 179
Chapter 12 Out with the Old, In with the New 190
Chapter 13 Police Brutality Raises Its Ugly Head 219
Chapter 14 Blood in the Streets 244
Chapter 15 The Fabulous Fernando Wood 263
Chapter 16 Blue Blood: The 1857 Police Riots 288