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Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
A Pickpocket's Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York

A Pickpocket's Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth-Century New York

by Timothy J. Gilfoyle
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In George Appo's world, child pickpockets swarmed the crowded streets, addicts drifted in furtive opium dens, and expert swindlers worked the lucrative green-goods game. On a good night Appo made as much as a skilled laborer made in a year. Bad nights left him with more than a dozen scars and over a decade in prisons from the Tombs and Sing Sing to the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where he reunited with another inmate, his father. The child of Irish and Chinese immigrants, Appo grew up in the notorious Five Points and Chinatown neighborhoods. He rose as an exemplar of the "good fellow," a criminal who relied on wile, who followed a code of loyalty even in his world of deception. Here is the underworld of the New York that gave us Edith Wharton, Boss Tweed, Central Park, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393329896
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/17/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Timothy J. Gilfoyle is an acclaimed historian. His first book, City of Eros, won the prestigious Nevins Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians. He is professor of history at Loyola University in Chicago.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations     xi
Preface     xiii
The Trials of Quimbo Appo     3
Urchins, Arabs, and Gutter-Snipes     18
A House of Refuge at Sea     30
Appo on: Violence     41
Factories for Turning Out Criminals     42
The "Guns" of Gotham     59
Drafted     73
Opium Dens and Bohemia     81
The Old Homestead     98
The Dives     110
Appo on: Jack Collins     125
Tombs Justice     127
Appo on: Good Fellows     142
Fences     146
"That Galling Yoke of Servitude"     157
Danny Driscoll and the Whyos     178
Eastern State Penitentiary     196
Green Goods     204
Appo on: Jersey City     223
Poughkeepsie     226
Appo on: Stealing Guys     241
The Lexow Committee     243
In the Tenderloin     260
A Marked Man     271
Buried Alive     285
A Genuine Reformation     300
Epilogue: The Finest Crook     315
Acknowledgments     325
Appendixes     331
New York State Male Prison Populations, 1870-1900     331
New York State Prison Expenditures, 1866-1900     332
Sing Sing Death and Insanity Rates, 1870-1900     333
Auburn Death and Insanity Rates, 1870-1900     334
Clinton Death and Insanity Rates, 1870-1900     335
Notes     337
Illustration Credits     435
Index     439

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