Tanner Smith – Character in Divide the Dawn
“King Joe says he don’ wanna hire ya, Tanner. Seems as though Thos Carmody don’ really like ya much. And since Thos has the king’s ear, ya’re out.”
Tanner Smith (b. 1887) is doomed. A desperate opportunist and powerful fist fighter, he has made enemies of the wrong people. Leader of the Greenwich Village gang The Marginals, he is a childhood friend of White Hand gang leader Dinny Meehan, and bitter enemy of Thos Carmody of the ILA. When Meehan was 11 years old in 1900, Smith helped him and his father escape the wrath of the Hudson Dusters, who had killed Meehan’s brother and uncle Red Shay. Fiercely loyal to those that have helped him, Meehan gave his old friend a job when Tanner was desperate to get back in the game. But the tragedy of Tanner Smith is that by deceiving him and the White Hand gang, Dinny Meehan was forced to banish his childhood friend forever, which goes against everything Meehan knows.
Origin – When news broke of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Meehan and youngster Liam Garrity were visiting Smith in Greenwich Village. Meehan hired Smith to kill ILA recruiter Thos Carmody, but Smith parlayed his position for a choice ILA job in exchange for saving Carmody’s life. Smith, a rowdy brawler, showed up to support Meehan for the Donnybrook in Red Hook when the White Hand took power back on the docks of Brooklyn.
When Carmody showed up alive in Brooklyn, Meehan and the gang knew Smith had backstabbed them. Against everything Meehan knows about loyalty to those who have helped him when in need, Meehan went to Greenwich Village, beat Smith and banished him from the underworld. After Carmody returned from World War I an experienced killer, he called a Blood Feud against Smith. Now one of them must die.