Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia

Joseph P. Macheca served as a street warrior for the intensely corrupt New Orleans Democratic machine, as a pioneer of the Crescent City’s fruit trade, as a Confederate privateer in the Gulf and, according to legend, as the “godfather” of the first Mafia organization to germinate in American soil.

Macheca lives on in New Orleans legend as the criminal overlord whose 1891 lynching death atoned for the assassination of city Police Chief David C. Hennessy. However, Macheca’s death was less a spontaneous lynching than a cold-blooded murder. The gang leader's old political and underworld allies sacrificed him so their own roles in local intrigues might not be discovered and so they could assume control of his assets.

Deep Water is the historical biography of Joseph P. Macheca. It establishes the factual details of Macheca’s epic life story and sets them against the vivid backdrop of Gilded Age New Orleans.

This biography of Joseph Macheca—merchant, smuggler, Mafia “godfather”—documents the early New Orleans underworld, explains Police Chief Hennessy’s assassination and the largest American lynching.

Set in the Gilded Age of New Orleans, the historical biography Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia establishes the factual details of Macheca’s epic life story, the assassination of Police Chief David Hennessy and the Crescent City lynchings.

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