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Italians Duel with Knives on Cherry Street, New York City, 1908

November 19, 2014

“The men drew their knives, and parried and lunged furiously for a time…”


Above: A knife duel between Italians. Source:

A knife duel between Italians. Source:

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Italian immigrants fought numerous knife duels in New York City and its environs.

One such combat was described in the following article, which appeared in the July 19, 1908 issue of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle:


Cherry Street is located in Lower Manhattan near the Williamsburg bridge. Period images from the Library of Congress seem to suggest that the “Cherry Hill” district, as it was then known, was a rather rough and downtrodden area to find yourself in:

Cherry Street, Manhattan, 1936

Above: A policeman stands watch in New York City’s Cherry Hill district, 1907.

Stay tuned for more articles on knife combat in New York City…

If you enjoyed this article, you might also be interested in:

Filipino versus Spanish Knife Fighters and a Duel in New York City, 1931


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