Redmond McManus: A Biographical Portfolio
2nd prize winner of the Friends of Fondren Library Undergraduate Research Awards, 2017. This paper was originally prepared for Course HIST 217 (Fall 2016): History: The Workship, given by Professor Dr. Fay Yarbrough, Department of History.
The aim of this project was to pick someone in history who would have been overlooked by history and reconstruct their lives through an annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Even if the person had left no records specific to himself, more general research based on the kind of person he was would reveal the necessary information to gain a full understanding. The person in question was a 19th century Irish immigrant gangster in New York City named Redmond McManus. He was responsible for an accidental shooting in 1861, but there is little further information. Most significantly, he was a member of the Bowery Boys, a powerful Nativist gang. The gang itself is famous because of its media representations, but specific historical information is limited. Now, after over a century, it is difficult to separate fact from legend. Though they occupied a significant place in New York City’s political development, they managed to keep their secrets well hidden. Based on census and employment records, other news reports, letters, and secondary sources, a complete picture of his life could be created, focusing on the more personal aspects of the life of a Bowery Boy.