Billy the Kid: Native New Yorker

Born either William H. Bonney or Henry McCarty in 1859, the notorious outlaw generally associated with the Old West actually got his start in a poor Irish neighborhood on the Lower East Side in 1859.

A 1936 New York Times review of a Billy the Kid biography reports that he lived in Manhattan until he was 3, when his parents migrated to New Mexico. 

billythekid Billy the Kid, in a getup you probably wouldn’t see on the Lower East Side in the 1870s. “He smiled when he killed and his smile made him look pathological, which he probably was,” reports The Encyclopedia of American Crime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, Alias Billy the Kid, published in 1986 by Donald Cline, states that Billy was born at 70 Allen Street. His mother was an unwed Irish immigrant, his father a married fruit vendor, and he didn’t make it to the Southwest until he was a teenager.

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2 Responses to “Billy the Kid: Native New Yorker”

  1. Look, Ma, No Pants Day! - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com Says:

    [...] Kid, a k a William H. Bonney or Henry McCarty, did not grow up among the tumbleweeds, but rather on the streets of the Lower East Side. [Ephemeral New York] Sorry kids, no more photo ops with that enormous lobster at City Crab and [...]

  2. Nabe News - Bowery Boogie | A Lower East Side Chronicle Says:

    [...] Billy the Kid was born in a poor Irish neighborhood on the Lower East Side in 1859. One of his biographers asserts that he lived at 70 Allen Street. Boy, how the neighborhood has changed [Ephemeral NY] [...]

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