William Poole bibliography

William Poole, aka Bill The Butcher (July 1821 - March 8, 1855), was a member of the Bowery Boys street gang and the U.S. political party the Know-Nothings. He also was a known boxer in the New York area.
  • New York Daily Times; October 23, 1851; "A Brutal Outrage in Broadway - We learn that at an early hour yesterday morning, two noted pugilists entered Florence's Hotel, corner of Broadway and Howard street, and without any provocation seized the bar-keeper and beat his face to a jelly. It appears that Thomas Hyer, William Poole, and several others entered the above hotel, and while one of the party held Charles Owens (the bar-keeper) by the hair of his head, another of the gang beat him in the face to such an extent that his left eye was completely ruined and the flesh of his cheek mangled in the most shocking manner. After thus accomplishing the heartless act, all of them made an effort to find Mr. John Florence, the proprietor of the hotel, with a view of serving him in the same manner, but not succeeding in their latter design, they found the hat of Mr. Florence and wantonly cut it into strips, and trampled it under their feet. The desperadoes then left the house, and in the meantime Mr. Owens was placed under medical attendance, and in the course of a short time he proceeded to the Jefferson Market Police, in company with Mr. Florence, where they made their affidavits respecting the inhuman outrage, upon which Justice Blakeley issued his warrants for Hyer, Poole, and such of the others who were concerned in the affair, and the same were placed in the hands of officer Baldwin for service. Since the above was written we have been reliably informed that the affray originated from the fact of the barkeeper having refused them drinks, after they had been furnished with them twice in succession."
  • New-York Daily Times; July 28, 1854; "Subjoined we give an account of the brutal affair, furnished by a person who witnessed it. He says: Yesterday morning, about 7 o'clock, an encounter took place between John Morrissey and William Poole on the pier at the foot of Amos Street, North River. For some time past Morrissey has entertained the idea of attaining the unenviable notoriety attached to a fighting man. He has frequently challenged Hyer to meet him in the ring and settle their animosities by a fisticuff battle. Hyer’s good judgment, however, has deterred him from participating in such disgraceful business. It appears that on Wednesday night Morrissey and Poole met in a public house on Broadway. Words ensued relative to the respective merits of Hyer and Morrissey. The latter offered a wager of fifty dollars to Mr. Poole that he dared not meet him at 7 o'clock, the next morning, he (Morrissey) giving Poole the choice of ground. Poole immediately accepted the proposition, and the money was posted. Mr. Poole, as far as regards size and weight, is much the inferior to Morrissey, but he possesses more activity, and is considered a tremendous "rough and tumble" fighter. Some time before the hour arrived for the meeting, Poole appeared on the pier with a large number of his friends, and offered to bet $3,000 with Mr. Alburtis, who was on the pier, that he could whip Morrissey or any other man in the world except Tom Hyer: that he felt in super fine condition, and if Morrissey dared to show his face he would drum him off the dock, or any one else who interfered with him. No one, however, felt disposed to accept his wager. At 6 1/2 o'clock, Morrissey was seen coming down Amos Street unattended and exclaimed, "Where is Poole?" On being answered that he was on the pier, took off his coat, without taking the precaution of unbuttoning his shirt collar, until reminded to do so by one of his friends, he immediately repaired there. Poole stood ready to meet him. Morrissey struck out - a clinch ensued - Morrissey falling heavily with Poole on top and who took advantage of his position to deal tremendous blows on Morrissey's face, and before they had fought five minutes, Morrissey cried "enough." Poole jumped into his boat, lying at the dock, and rowed away, while Morrissey, considerably chop-fallen and awfully bruised and beaten, was obliged to leave the ground amid the jeers and hooting of the assemblage. Poole also said that he intended to go on an excursion at 7 o'clock, (meaning of course the fight,) that it was the last he expected to take and was only waiting for the boat to arrive but had some doubts whether it would stop at the pier to take him, as that was the last stopping-place. The fight was of very short duration. As soon as they clinched, the crowd gathered around, and it was almost impossible for any one except those within a foot of the belligerents to witness the conflict, which was over in five minutes after the first blow was struck. Morrissey left the scene in a light wagon, without a friend to attend to him, and drove off."
  • New York Daily Times; Monday, February 26, 1855; "Terrible Shooting Affray in Broadway - Bill Poole Fatally Wounded - The Morrissey and Poole Feud - Renewal of Hostilities - Several Persons Severely Wounded. Broadway, in the vicinity of Prince and Houston Streets, was the scene of an exciting shooting affair about 1 o'clock yesterday morning, which is but a repetition of a similar occurrence that transpired a few weeks ago under Wallack's Theatre between Tom Hyer, Lewis Baker, Jim Turner and several other noted pugilists. It appears that about 9 o'clock on Saturday evening, John Morrissey and a gang of ruffians entered a saloon at No. 579 Broadway, called the Stanwix Hall, where they met Bill Poole. As might be expected, an altercation took place. The proprietor of the saloon, Mr. Dean, immediately gave information of the disturbance at the Eight Ward Station-house, and a platoon of Police was forthwith sent to the house, and they succeeded in quieting the belligerents. The crowd then dispersed and went in various directions, though seemingly bent on having a row. They returned to Stanwix Hall just after midnight, where they again encountered Poole and made a murderous attack upon him. The party was headed by the notorious Californian, Jim Turner, and was followed by a butcher named Charles Van Pelt, Patrick McLaughlin, alias "Pargene," (who is now under $5,000 bail for an attempted murder the night prior to the election last Fall,) C. Linn, should fight and as Poole was pushing Pargene away, the Californian interfered, while Pargene spit in Poole's face. This was about to be resented by Poole, when Turner aimed a six-barreled revolver at his head, crying out, "Come, draw your weapon," or words to that effect. Scarcely a minute elapsed before Turner fired, but as he did so he raised his arm and received himself the full charge which was intended for Poole. He fired off another barrel at Poole, and the slug took effect in Poole's left leg, which weakened him to such a degree that he staggered and fell on the floor. At this moment Baker jumped on top of Poole, exclaiming, "I'll put you out of the way now." Baker was also seen to fire off a pistol in the crowd, but it is not known upon whom the contents took effect. Poole cried to them not to murder him, but the mob paid but little attention. He was beaten and kicked in a horrible manner. The Police finally came and attempted to arrest the offenders, but failed in the effort, and both Morrissey and Baker are still at large. Meanwhile, Poole was placed in a carriage and conveyed to his residence in Charles-street, where his wounds were examined by a surgeon, but without finding the ball. Last evening Poole was visited by Dr. Casteny, under direction of Coroner Hilton, who thought it might be necessary to hold an ante-mortem examination. The physician returned and reported that Poole was entirely out of danger. A young man named Charles Lozier received a pistol shot in the back during the affray, which will confine him to his room for several weeks. Baker, one of the assailants, was also shot in the breast, but affected his escape. About daylight Capt. Turnbull succeeded in arresting Turner, Pargene and Van Pelt, at Johnny Lyng's gambling-house, in Canal-street, and they were locked up by order of Justice Brennan. Yesterday afternoon an investigation into the facts of the affray was commenced at the Second District Police Court, where the affidavits of some dozen witnesses were taken, but none of them are of sufficient importance to publish at length. In connection with the account above given, we annex the testimony of Mr. Dean, the proprietor of Stanwix Hall, where the shooting took place. The Affidavit Of John E. Dean - John E. Dean, sworn, says: I am keeper of the saloon at No. 579 Broadway, called Stanwix Hall; about 20 minutes after 12 o'clock last night, James Turner, Patrick McLoughlin, alias Pargene, Louis Baker, Charles Van Pelt, and Cornelius Linn, came into my house at the time Poole was standing against the counter, when Pargene approached him, and asked him "Who could lick him," and continued, "Come out doors and fight him;" Poole answered, "You are not worth fighting;" Pargene then seized hold of Poole and insisted upon him to fight; at this period Turner took hold of Pargene and asked him to let go of Poole; Pargene then spit in Poole's face; Turner then pulled his pistol, and exclaimed "Draw;" Poole then stood at the end of the counter, and Pargene was squaring off; Turner then presented his pistol at Poole and fired it off; the charge entered Turner's arm and he fired again; the contents of the pistol on the second firing entered Poole's leg, and he staggered and fell upon the floor; Lewis Baker then fell on top of Poole; I sent for the police, but the fracas was all over when they got there; I saw Baker fire off a pistol, but did not see who the contents struck. Since writing the above, we understand that Morrissey was taken in custody, but afterwards released by a police officer for some unexplained cause. The Chief of Police has expressed his dissatisfaction at such a proceeding, and is determined to call the policeman to account. The Chief of Police and several of the "Shadows" were engaged in council to a late hour last night, devising ways and means for the arrest of the guilty party. Postscript - 2 1/2 A. M. - Our reporter has just returned from Poole's residence in Christopher Street. Poole is much worse than in the early part of the evening. The surgeons have not yet succeeded in extracting the ball from his chest, - they say he cannot recover."
  • New York Daily Times; March 12, 1855; "Those who knew him can ... appreciate his worth ..."