World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sydney Ducks

Article Id: WHEBN0002007767
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sydney Ducks  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Australian American, Vigilante, California Gold Rush, English American
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sydney Ducks

The Sydney Ducks was the name given to a gang of criminal immigrants from Australia in San Francisco, during the mid-19th century. Because many of these criminals came from the well-known British penal colonies in Australia, and were known to commit arson, they were blamed for an 1849 fire that devastated the heart of San Francisco, as well as the rampant crime in the city at the time.[1]

The Sydney Ducks were criminals who operated as a gang, in a community that also included sailors, longshoremen, teamsters, wheelwrights, shipwrights, bartenders, saloon keepers, washerwomen, domestic servants, and dressmakers. The largest proportion (44%) were born in Ireland and migrated during the Great Irish Famine, first to Australia as laborers and then to California as part of the Gold Rush.[2][3]

The criminality of the Sydney Ducks was the catalyst for the formation of the first Committee of Vigilance of 1851. The vigilantes usurped political power from the corrupt or incompetent officials in the city, conducted secret trials, lynchings, and deportations, which effectively decimated the Sydney Ducks. The area where the Sydney Ducks clustered at the base of Telegraph Hill was originally known as "Sydney-Town," but by the 1860s was called exclusively by its better-known name, the Barbary Coast.

On December 19, 1854 five members of the gang were involved in the Jonathan R. Davis fight.[4]

See also


  1. ^ , Signal Books, 2004 pp. 54-57San Francisco: a cultural and literary historyMick Sinclair,
  2. ^ Ricards, Sherman L.; George M. Blackburn (February 1973). "The Sydney Ducks: A Demographic Analysis". The Pacific Historical Review 42 (1): 20–31.  
  3. ^ Davis, Mike. "‘WHAT IS A VIGILANTE MAN?’ White Violence in California History".  
  4. ^ Bell, Bob Boze, "The Gang Slayer: Captain Jonathan Davis vs 14 Polyglot Kilers, True West; History of the American Frontier. Jue 2014, Vol. 61, No. 6

External links

  • "The Sydney Ducks," from Barbary Coast by Herbert Asbury (New York, 1933) recovered with April 28, 2011.
  • The Vigilance Committee
  • Tremendous Excitement! Samuel Whittaker and Robert McKenzie rescued from the authorities, and hung by the Vigilance Committee, on Sunday August 24th. at 3 o’clock P.M. in the presence of Fifteen thousand People. | Lith. & Publ. by Justh, Quirot & Co. Calif. corner Montg. Sts. S.F. Crowd in foreground; bodies hanging from building hoists in background. From accessd Jan. 7,2011
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.