Topper gang members exchange fire with Boston Police at "Bloody Boulevard"
December 24-26, 1809
The Great Boston Christmas Riot of 1809 was a brutal gang-on-gang-on-authorities battle in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, URAS. It began when Athony Belman, a high-ranking officer in the Cravat crime gang along the Boston Waterfront, was murdered by Michael Mitchell, who, posing as the ficional "Duke of Princeton," threw Belman over the railing of his box at the Boston City Theatre to settle an old score. The assassination had been planned by the Cravats bitter rivals, the Toppers, to draw out the Cravats for a conclusive confrontation to decide once and for all who controlled the Waterfront. It ended with Boston being put under martial law by the Army and the Navy shutting down the Waterfront. It was the greatest embarrassment in Boston Police Department history, and led to the Law Enforcement Reform Act of 1810, passed unanimously by the House of Congress (taking into account many Congressman abstained from voting). Notable casualties of the Riot were Harold Rutherford, the leader of the Toppers (who was replaced by Michael Mitchell), and Henry Knox, whose carriage was overturned when speeding down an icy street to escape from the violence. Sir Marcus Dickens was present during Belman's assassination in the Boston City Theatre and was rushed out by bodyguards and soldiers just in time to avoid being stuck in the riot.