True American Or Nativist Bully? The True Story Of William ‘bill The Butcher’ Poole

New book by Seth Abrams and Rose Keefe shatters the myths surrounding New York's bloodiest patriot.
The Killing of Bill the Butcher
The Killing of Bill the Butcher
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Bill the Butcher
New York


Manhattan - New York - US

May 9, 2011 - PRLog -- Handsome, suave, and deadly with knives, William Poole was antebellum New York’s most notorious political enforcer. Nicknamed ‘Bill the Butcher’, he associated with mayors, judges, and politicians while terrorizing the Irish immigrants who arrived in droves during the 1840s and 50s. Despite his violent methods, many New Yorkers regarded Poole as a hero and a protective breakwater between American values and the ‘foreign hordes’ that threatened to overwhelm them.

His death was as spectacular as his life. When a long-time enemy finally shot Poole in the heart on February 24, 1855, it took him fourteen days to die, and among his last words were “I die a true American.” That declaration made him a martyr to the nativist cause and a Manhattan legend.

Poole was the inspiration for the Bill Cutting character in Martin Scorsese's 2002 epic Gangs of New York as well as numerous literary and stage characters. But the real story of William Poole and his transformation from Washington Market butcher to rampaging gladiator of New York's anti-immigrant forces has remained untold for over 150 years.

The Killing of Bill the Butcher: William Poole and the Battle for Old New York is the first detailed study of William Poole's life and crimes. Other highlights include:

•Poole's deadly rivalry with Irish prize-fighter (and future U.S. Senator) John Morrissey, which finally ended in murder
•Previously unpublished biographical details about Lewis Baker, the former policeman who fatally shot Bill the Butcher and emerged victorious after three trials

The Killing of Bill the Butcher: William Poole and the Battle for Old New York will be released in both print and electronic format by Our Gotham Press in June 2011.

About the authors:

Seth F. Abrams is a New York historian and stage actor who has written about and portrayed some of the city's most legendary gangsters. His mob tour of the Lower East Side is a popular weekend event in the city.

Rose Keefe is the author of three American gangster biographies: Guns and Roses- the Untold Story of Dean O'Banion, The Man Who Got Away- the Bugs Moran Story, and The Starker: Big Jack Zelig, the Becker-Rosenthal Case, and the Advent of the Jewish Gangster. She appears regularly on television and radio specials about America's gangster past.

Full Contact Information:
Seth F. Abrams / Rose Keefe

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Tags:Bill the Butcher, New York, Crime, 1850s
Industry:Books, Entertainment
Location:Manhattan - New York - United States
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