Join Date: Oct 2005
When Martin Scorsese was converting Herbert Asbury’s non fiction book, The Gangs of New York, to a movie he liked the story of Monk Eastman so much that he simply co-opted much of the character and made him Irish to fit the story.
Also, if you read the book the weapons of choice seem to be brickbats and iron pipes rolled up in newspapers for concealment (Manhattan ethonographic weapon?). I guess it was hard to walk around with a club during any historical period in NYC.
Another side note, the character Bill the Butcher in the movie is the real deal. I have tracked him down at the NYC Municipal archives and in the NYPL Social Sciences Library. I even found an insurance map of his butcher shop in the Bowery.