Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social Consciousness and Citizenship: The Rise and Fall of the Loomis Gang
by Hafelin, Isaac J., M.S., Utica College, 2019, 109; 13881447
Abstract (Summary)

The Loomis Gang brought chaos and terror to Central New York as the largest family crime syndicate in the United States during the nineteenth century. The Loomises used crime to gain power, outmaneuver New York State’s criminal justice system, and oppress entire communities. This Thesis uses the lens of social consciousness and citizenship to offer new understandings about the rise and fall of the Loomis Gang. Unlike other historical literature on the Loomis Gang, this Thesis offers a social perspective granting new understandings of the rise and fall of the Loomis Gang and how these historical events affect the world today. The author accomplishes this by reexamining historical records including legal documents and newspaper articles. Technologies including newspapers, roads, canals, trains, and the telegraph brought greater connection between communities in the region, strengthening identity and increasing awareness of national, regional, and local societal ills. Through expansive social consciousness, the worldview of local communities in Central New York dramatically changed, causing citizens to define the Loomises as outsiders. The demise of the criminal organization transpired in conjunction with a violent redefinition of community and citizenship in the Civil War, as citizens became aware of an essential interrelatedness with each other as they desired unity and a more equitable world. On June 16, 1866, local citizens marched on the Loomis Mansion, burnt it to the ground, and tortured gang members into confessing their crimes thus ending their reign of terror and restoring order to the communities of Central New York.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: DeSimone, Peter T.
Commitee: Cash, Sherri G., Diana, Thomas J.
School: Utica College
Department: History
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, History, Criminology
Keywords: Citizenship, Crime, Criminal organization, Loomis Gang, Social consciousness
Publication Number: 13881447
ISBN: 978-1-392-15168-6
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