Hanging Henry Gambrill - The Violent Career of Baltimore`s Plug Uglies, 1854-1860

Street gangs were rampant in the 1850s and nowhere more than Baltimore. Tracy Melton has gone back to the newspapers, court records and every conceivable original source to recreate this colorful period. Some of it is violent and grisly, but the reader also gets descriptions of clothing and everyday life of gang members, etc. And finally we have the spectacle of four men on the gallows in the jail yard (a yard still visible from I-83 North off Centre Street) with all appeals exhausted, singing a farewell song to 15,000 spectators on a blustery cold, gray April day.