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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Part:         Session:         Page of 654

a large apartment house now stands on Washington Place. It was really in terrible condition. It was a firetrap. It was likely to collapse at any time. It was infested with rats and vermin of all kinds. It was undoubtedly a hideout for dealers in narcotics and semi-criminals. A number of the boys who belonged to the “Gopher” gang had been known to hide out in there.

The “Gophers” and the “Badgers” were two very bad gangs who mostly were adolescents. Some of the post-adolescents stayed in it even after they were more grown up. I think the “Badgers” were perhaps further uptown. The ones down in that area were the “Gophers” and the “Hudson Dusters.” They were two gangs that originated, developed and grew up in that neighborhood. The “Hudson Dusters” of course reflect the name of Hudson Street. Apparently many of their original members had lived on Hudson Street. They were having warfare with the “Gophers.” The “Gophers” lived farther east in Greenwich Village and further north than the “Hudson Dusters” did.

I don't know whether those adolescent gangs still exist or not. I think they do, but not with the same kind of people exactly. At that time they were the menace of neighborhoods in which they existed and they were a menace to themselves. They were the matrix out of which all kinds of criminal

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