Bowe Brothers

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Bowe Brothers
Founded c. 1840
Founded by Martin Bowe
Founding location New York City, New York, United States
Years active 1840-1860
Territory New York waterfront
Ethnicity Irish-American
Membership (est.) 6 (est.)
Criminal activities Organized crime

The Bowe Brothers were a criminal family in New York City during the early-to-mid-19th century. The gang was headed by Martin Bowe, owner of the Catherine Slip sailors' home Glass House, and included Jack, Jim and Bill Bowe. All were well-known shooters, cutters and thieves in New York's Fourth Ward [1] and often led waterfront thugs in raids on dockyards and ships anchored in the East River. The brothers were also fences and disposed of money obtained by other waterfront gangs.[2]

One of their men, Jack Madill, served as a bartender at the Glass House for over a year before his arrest for the murder of his wife. He had killed her in an argument when she refused to help him rob a drunken sailor and was sentenced to life imprisonment [1][2]


  1. ^ a b Moss, Frank. The American Metropolis from Knickerbocker Days to the Present Time. London: The Authors' Syndicate, 1897. (pg. 102)
  2. ^ a b Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the New York Underworld. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1928. (pg. 49-50) ISBN 1-56025-275-8

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