||New Orleans| Joseph Macheca
Birth: 1843 - New Orleans
Death: March 14, 1891 - New Orleans
Early Life & Family
Joseph Peter Macheca is one of the oldest known mafioso in US history. He was born in 1843 from Sicilian parents in New Orleans. His father, Peter Carvanna was born in 1814/1815. Carvanna came to New Orleans around the 1840's together with Joseph Mercieca, a pioneer to the fruit trade. Cervanna was a Sicilian outlaw. In 1847 Carvanna was arrested due to a serious crime and imprissoned, his relations with his wife, Marietta Carvanna, vanished after some time. Marietta married with Joseph Merciera (changed name in Macheca) in 1848 and adopted Joseph Carvanna, who's name was later changed into Joseph Peter Macheca. In 1852 his half-brother John is born and in 1854 his half-sister Rosa Maria is born. Only a year later Rosa Maria dies.
In 1863 John Macheca was born to Joseph Macheca and his wife Bridget Macheca and in 1867 William Macheca was born. In 1869 his third son Joseph Macheca Jr. was born and in 1870 a forth son Micheal was born, but died only 6 months after. In 1871 his first daughter was born and was named Marie Macheca and in 1873 his second daughter Rosa was born. His fifth son Arthur was born in 1875 and in 1877 JP's mother Marietta died during a vacation trip to Malta, she was only 53 years old. In 1879 another son, Edward Michael, was born to Joseph and Bridgit Macheca. The Macheca family consisted out of 6 sons (but one died early) and 2 daughters. In 1878 his father Joseph Macheca Sr. died on board of a French ship on the trip to Malta.
In 1868 Joseph Macheca supported Presidential candidate Horatio Seymour of New York against Republican Ulysses Grant. Joseph assembled a large gang, comprised mostly of Sicilians and named the Innocenti (Innocents), and lead them in violent attacks against New Orleans African-Americans, starting Oct. 24. Prominent Democrats, fearful that the attacks were resulting in Republican reprisals, forced Macheca to disban the Innocenti in November. Innocenti member Litero Barba was afterwards murdered on his way home from a party at the Orleans Ballroom on October 28.
In 1869 Macheca was secretly contesting the leadership of Sicilian mafia boss Raffaelo Agnelo. On April 1, 1869 Agnelo was shot and killed during a walk towards the Macheca shop. In 1872 Raffaelo's brother Joseph was also murdered. In 1879 Giuseppe Esposito entered New Orleans. Esposito was a bandit and fugitive from Sicily after he and his boss Leone (who fled to Africa) kidnapped a English tourist in 1877 and were hunted down by the police. Macheca took Esposito into his organisation. Esposito rose to a leadership position of the New Orleans underorld and his lieutenant Joseph Provenzano began controlling the docks. In 1881 Esposito was captured by David and Mike Hennesey (Both detectives) and was forced to leave America and go to Italy to stand trial.
After the departure of Esposito the organisation fell into 2 factions. One led by Carlo Matranga, his brother Antonino and Macheca as there advisor. The other faction was headed by Joseph Provenzano. In 1888 a war broke out between the 2 groups. Both had allready recruited many Italian and Sicilian forces to there groups the past 6 years. Police chief Hennesey backed the Provenzano faction during the war. In 1890 a bunch of hitmen from Matranga made an attempt on Hennesey's life and mortally wounded the man. He lived long enough though to give the name of his attackers. Joseph Macheca, Carlo Matranga and others were arrested for the murder of Hennesey but the verdict pleaded not-guilty. The people were enraged that they were getting away with the murder and stormed the prison on March 14, 1891, were the arrested men were still in custody. Joseph Macheca was lynched and murdered by the crowd together with others. Only Carlo Matranga and 2 others managed to escape the furious crowd. Ironicly it was Carlo who masterminded the murder on David Hennesey.
.:Back to American Mafia:.